DVDSleuth.com is your source for daily Blu-ray Disc & DVD news and reviews
Ted 2 (2015)
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 12/15/2015
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 12/11/2015
It's an age-old discussion -- sequels, by definition, are inferior products. They are copies, imitations, and therefore pale in comparison to the project which spawned them. At best, we can hope for a sequel to embody the spirit of the original film and in some cases, rival that movie. But, every once in a while, we get a sequel which surpasses the original. Sometimes this is due to a bigger budget, and sometimes it's the result of new blood in front of or behind the camera. Then, we have a movie like Ted 2. How it wound up being better than its predecessor is irrelevant. The important thing is that it is better.
Ted 2 opens some time after the events of Ted. Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane, the sentient, talking teddy bear gets married to his girlfriend, Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). Meanwhile, John (Mark Wahlberg), Ted's best friend and the person whose wish gave life to the bear, is depressed as his wife (presumably Mila Kunis from the first film) has left him. The story then leaps ahead six months. Ted and Tami-Lynn, both of who work in a grocery store, are having trouble making ends meet, and this is putting a strain on their marriage. Ted decides that they only way to save the relationship is to suggest having a baby. Tami-Lynn is thrilled by this, but given that Ted can't mate, the couple look into artificial insemination or adoption. This gets the attention of the authorities who deem Ted property and not a person. This nullifies his marriage and costs him his job. In order to fight this, John and Ted meet a young lawyer named Sam Jackson (Amanda Seyfried) and begin an odyssey to show everyone just how human Ted is.
When Ted was released in 2012, it was a runaway hit. It cost a reported $50 million to make and grossed over $200 million. Was this a surprise? I guess that depends on who you ask. Seth MacFarlane had created a television empire withFamily Guy, American Dad!, and to an extent, The Cleveland Show, but that was no guarantee that his first foray into feature film making would be a success. Also, you had the premise, which, from the trailers, looked like Mark Wahlberg hanging out with a foul-mouthed Teddy Ruxpin. When I finally saw the movie, I was floored by how much I didn't like it. Along with the overall lack of an actual story, the movie was simply a forum for Ted to say as many outlandish and scatological things as possible. I usually find something to like or quote in comedies, but Ted was instantly forgotten. So, as you can imagine, I wasn't enthusiastic about Ted 2. The trailers promised more of the same. Despite the fact that the film had a good opening weekend and actually grossed more than the budget, as it made about 60% less than the first one, it was considered a failure.
What does this mean? It means that once again, I'm not agreeing with the American filmgoing general public, as I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Ted 2. With the first film, Universal was presumably happy that MacFarlane had brought the project to them (and not his television home, Fox), and they were no doubt pleased with the results. It appears that MacFarlane was given more freedom with this sequel, as it shows more imagination and whimsy. For fans of the first film, there is still plenty of profanity coming from Ted and John, and no taboo subject is off limits. But, the movie actually gives off more of a Family Guy vibe, as it opens with a musical number, has non-sequitir flashbacks and goes into full pop-culture nerd mode in the third act. The humor here is still decidedly low-brow, but it's also clever at times. Is this why it wasn't as well-accepted as the first one? Perhaps. I know that some of Ted's references probably went over the heads of some viewers and, again, the finale probably got more nerdy (nerdier?) than most general audiences will accept.
Which brings me to my last point. Apparently I missed the "Judd Apatow Getting High is Funny" seminar, but clearly Seth MacFarlane didn't. Is pot inherently funny? This movie apparently thinks so. As much as I laughed at Ted 2, I could have easily done without the drug humor. Are we supposed to crack up when someone pulls out a bong? That's the one big blemish on what is otherwise a very stupid, but often humorous movie. In the realm of gross-out teddy bear movies, I have to say that Ted 2 is the best.
Ted 2 contains one of the weirdest cameo appearances ever on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 33 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no overt grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look very good and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is good (which actually makes Ted look a little too CG at times) and the depth is nice. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 4.0 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. Being a comedy, we don't get a lot of dynamic effects here, but things heat up during the finale, and during a car accident scene. These moments treat us to detailed stereo and surround sound effects, as well as some good subwoofer effects. The music also sounds good.
The Ted 2 Blu-ray Disc contains several extras. We begin with an AUDIO COMMENTARY from Producer/Director/Co-Writer Seth MacFarlane, Executive Producers/Co-Writers Alec Sulkin & Wellesley Wild and Jessica Barth. The Disc contains seven DELETED SCENES which run about 4 minutes. These are all brief and most are simply a forum for alternate takes. Having said that, there are some funny lines here. We get a 3-minute GAG REEL, which shows the stuffed Ted used for production. "Thunder Buddies 4 Lyfe" (7 minutes) is a brief making-of which examines the relationship between Ted and John, and then looks at how the actors have to interact with nothing to order to shoot the scenes with Ted. The piece also looks at certain key scenes. "Creating Comic-Con" is a four-part featurette which shows us that this was not actually shot at New York Comic-Con and looks at "The Exhibitors" (3 minutes), "The Costumes" (3 minutes), "The Stunts" (4 minutes) and "The Showdown" (4 minutes). "Cameo Buddies" looks at four famous faces which appear in the film, which I won't name in the event that you haven't seen the movie yet. "A Giant Opening Dance Number" (9 minutes) takes us into rehearsal and on the set to see how the choreography for the sequence was created. The car wreck scene is detailed in "Roadtripping" (9 minutes), which shows the amount of work and construction which went into the scene.
Review Copyright 2015 by Mike Long