Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Seth MacFarlane is one of the biggest names in TV comedy, with his shows Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show dominating animated comedy. Now though, the controversial comedian is aiming at the big screen making his writing, directing debut with Ted.
Ted is story of John Bennett, a little kid with no friends, until a Christmas miracle grants his new teddy bear a life of its own. John and Ted then promise to be best friends for life.
We pick up the story decades later with John (Mark Wahlberg), now in his mid-thirties in a stable relationship with the gorgeous Lori (Mila Kunis) but still living with his animated stuffed bear. Except all Ted (Seth MacFarlane) does now is get high, watch TV, drink and curse. A lot.
Lori wants more though, meaning John has to try and grow up, something that test’s his friendship with Ted to the limit.
MacFarlane’s always courted the lines of taste with his comedy and while never playing it safe, Ted is easily his best script in years. The comedy is unmistakeably MacFarlane, with snippy pop culture references and weird asides throughout, but the success rate of jokes is far higher than the last few years of Family Guy have demonstrated.
From the first minute to the last, the jokes just keep coming with a fantastic voice over from Patrick Stewart setting the tone perfectly.
All the jokes in the world wouldn’t be worth a penny though if the actors didn’t work well together. Luckily for Ted, that’s not an issue.
It’s this central three way chemistry that makes the comedy work. Wahlberg and Kunis get on like a house on fire and MacFarlane works really well with the both of them, Wahlberg in particular.
Wahlberg’s recent re-invention as a comic actor is easily one of the simplest and most effective transformations in Hollywood lately, and is seeing him put together a great string of performances that might even wipe The Happening out of our heads sometime soon. Might.
While some of the jokes miss their marks, the sheer amount of them being thrown at any time means that something will always be there to make you laugh.
A really impressive debut from MacFarlane and one of 2012’s funniest films so far, Ted’s far from cuddly, but very, very lovable.
Ted is out now
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith