‘Ted 2’ (2015) review: Family is what you make it

Did you like ‘Ted’? That answer will color how you see ‘Ted 2’

The problem with “Ted 2” is that, when it comes right down to it, it’s inconsistent. When it’s funny, it’s hilarious, reminding viewers why they appreciated the dark, adolescent humor of the original “Ted.” When it misses the mark, however, it does so spectacularly, reminding us that one movie about a foul-mouth, pot-smoking teddy bear is quite enough.

Preferably, a movie will have more of the highlights than the lowlights. Unfortunately, “Ted 2” isn’t so lucky. Its few moments of brilliance will have you in stitches (there’s one Gollum reference that may actually make you laugh so hard you’ll cry), and they’re almost enough to recommend the film as a whole.

But writer-director Seth MacFarlane’s crazy antics have always done better as animation (think his “Family Guy” show) rather than live-action (think “A Million Ways to Die in the West”), and “Ted 2” is no different. The appeal of the first film — the originality of leading with the outrageous behaviors of a miscreant teddy bear and his best human friend — was never going to be so potent again. So it didn’t matter how shock-offensive the sequel tried to be, because it wasn’t going to recreate that magic. Alas, that didn’t stop anyone here.

The premise of “Ted 2” is simple, though let’s not ruin too much, shall we? If you saw any trailer at all for this, you’d know Ted (voiced by MacFarlane), the magical teddy bear, wants to live a normal life — which includes having children. However, being how he’s a teddy bear brought to life through magic (or something), he’s not really equipped to bear life, if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphors. Oh, and his human wife, Tami-Lynn (Jessica Birth), may be the whitest trash this side of the Mississippi. Let’s just say things don’t go well for our family-to-be.

So, in an effort to get his wife pregnant with the best possible material available, Ted and John (Mark Wahlberg), his closest friend, sneak off off to Tom Brady’s house. The rest is up to your imagination. (It’s safe to say the following actions are illegal.)

When things eventually go haywire, even more is piled on when Ted finds himself on the wrong side of the legal system, with everyone coming to the conclusion that he is simply just a toy, property with no legal rights of his own. Enter Amanda Seyfried as Samantha, his young, inexperienced, pot-loving lawyer. What could possibly go wrong?

In the end, “Ted 2” is the reason why there rarely should be comedy sequels. It’s hard enough to make people laugh once; trying to capture the magic from the first film is a fool’s errand (think “The Hangover”). The film has its moments, thanks in large part to MacFarlane being a strange, strange man. But there’s not enough of them, just as there’s not enough reason for this sequel to exist.

Two “I wish I did half-stars sometimes” stars out of five.

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“Ted” review

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