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Thursday, Sep. 18, 2014

MacFarlane's 'Ted' right for all the wrong reasons

Thursday, July 12, 2012

(Photo)
By CAINE GARDNER

Film Critic

Seth MacFarlane might just be the most offensive man on television. The mastermind behind Fox's "Family Guy", "American Dad" and "The Cleveland Show" has the ability to offend his audience and leave them doubled over in laughter at the same time.

MacFarlane takes that ability to the big screen with the new release "Ted" starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. If you are easily offended then you should steer clear. However, if MacFarlane is your kind of comedy, then run to the theater to catch "Ted."

"Ted" is the story of a boy, John (Wahlberg), whose Christmas wish comes true and his new cuddly teddy bear comes to life. Ted becomes an instant celebrity and is on top of the world, but as the movie reminds us, even the biggest stars are forgotten.

Now John and Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) spend their days doing their best to elude responsibility, drinking beer and getting high. But Ted isn't the only person in John's life. John's beautiful girlfriend Lori (Kunis) believes Ted is holding her man back and convinces John to ask Ted to move out.

After Ted moves out, the duo still finds time to spend together, until one wild night, which includes a chance meeting with John partying with his childhood hero, Flash himself Sam J. Jones, leads to John and Lori splitting. Now Ted is scrambling to help put the pieces back together again, even assuring Lori that he will step out of the picture.

All the while, an obsessed fan played by Giovani Ribisi kidnaps the cuddly bear, which results in a climax that tugs at the heartstrings and leads into one of the funniest parts of the movie.

MacFarlane is able to weave a tale with "Ted" that produces some offensive, huge laughs, but also make you feel so much for a stuffed animal that it literally left some in the audience in tears.

MacFarlane shows some definite skill moving his talents from the small to big screen. Usually a director will either go over the top or keep the camera stationary, but MacFarlane handles each scene almost perfectly.

Wahlberg and Kunis have good chemistry and are actually believable as a couple. Wahlberg shows he can carry a comedic lead as easy as he can his usual tough-guy roles.

MacFarlane voices Ted and if you've watched "Family Guy" the voice will be very familiar. Ted sounds like a carbon copy of Peter from "Family Guy" and MacFarlane even addresses that during the movie. MacFarlane is absolutely hilarious as Ted.

"Ted" is filled with tons of pop culture references including having the 1980s cult classic "Flash Gordon" as a major tread through the film. The movie has a few funny cameos and keep an ear out for the theme to "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

Final Cut: "Ted" is one of the most offensive, yet one of the funniest flicks of the year. MacFarlane shows some prowess as a film director and brings his "Family Guy" humor to the big screen and pulls it off without a hitch.

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Ted

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi

Writer: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild

Director: Seth MacFarlane

Run time: 106 minutes

MPAA Rating: R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language and some drug use