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Movie Night – 'Ted 2' proves waste of time (July 8, 2015 issue)

Don’t waste your time or your money. “Ted 2” is terrible. While it has the same ridiculous premise of the first movie, it lacks one essential element that was present in “Ted,” humor.
In the first “Ted” we learned that a stuffed Teddy bear named Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) came to life through a magical wish made by a little boy named John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg). While John grew up physically, he forever remained a teenage boy mentally and emotionally, due in large part to his continued friendship with Ted.
When “Ted 2” begins John is divorced from his wife and Ted is marrying girlfriend Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). Before long Ted’s marriage spirals downhill at a startlingly rapid pace due to equally startling obscenity-laced tirades between Ted and Tami-Lynn. At the same time John feels more alone than ever, refusing the advances of several women and the less-than-wholesome suggestions of Ted.
After a co-worker gives him an idea, Ted talks to Tami-Lynn about the one thing he thinks could save their marriage, a baby. As you may have already guessed, Tami-Lynn thinks having a baby is a perfect idea. What else could save a struggling marriage where the husband and wife no longer speak to each other without hurling vile insults at each other but another human being that they must work together to raise?
The problem, of course, is that Ted is not capable of getting Tami-Lynn pregnant. After they are spurned by several potential donors (including Tom Brady), John agrees to help. Only then do they learn that Tami-Lynn can’t have children due to her years of drug and alcohol abuse.
The real problem arises when Ted and Tami-Lynn decide to adopt a child. In the eyes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Ted is not human and not eligible to be an adoptive parent. Due to this decision Ted quickly loses his job and all of his credit cards. His marriage to Tami-Lynn is annulled. Samantha L. Jackson (Amanda Seyfried) steps in as a young lawyer to fight for Ted’s rights, to declare that he is human.
Like the first movie, “Ted 2” is a gross-out, buddy comedy that goes over the top in every conceivable way. Vulgarity and profanity are rampant throughout the movie along with glorification of drug use. It may appeal to a group of testosterone-riddled teenage boys, but only a precious few others.
Yet, the real crime of “Ted 2” is a fundamental flaw for a comedy: it’s not funny. Movies like “Ted 2” make money and are likable because through the ridiculous shenanigans of the characters there’s actual humor involved and you can see how at their core the central characters are good people. “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” is a perfect example. It’s completely crass and disgusting in many parts, but it’s hilarious and the morals of the main character are redeemed in the end.
There are very few moments of humor in “Ted 2” and no redeeming qualities of the main characters. The golden rule with gross-out comedies is that pretty much everything allowed as long as it’s funny. When the movie is not funny, like “Ted 2,” the movie only comes across as vulgar and degrading.
It’s hard to root for the characters in “Ted 2,” or even care what happens to them. The movie is so long that the last thirty minutes are brutal. Time slowed to a near stop in the theater until the credits at last began to roll.
Grade: D+
Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use.