It goes without saying, Seth MacFarlane is the king of animation. And ever since the Family Guy and American Dad creator released the initial trailer for his debut motion picture Ted, the buzz has been spreading like wildfire. With such a huge stir circulating around the internet, MacFarlane decided to do what any smart businessman would do. He found a way to get Ted's release date moved up one month to June 29th, tomorrow. Now finally, one of 2012's funniest movies will hit theatres everywhere.
When a young and friend-less John Bennett (played by Wahlberg) makes a childhood wish that his stuffed teddy bear would come to life, the entire world is blown away by the miracle. Like many other flashes in the pan, Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) quickly reaches celebrity status and then falls off the grid. A couple decades later, John and Ted are still best friends with no future aspirations. And when John's girlfriend of four years Lori (played by Kunis) gives him one last shot at growing up and ditching his best friend Ted, John quickly learns that it's never easy to let go of childish things.
Seth MacFarlane's Ted is an outlandishly hysterical experience that will definitely measure up as one of the year's funniest movies. The raunchy and vulgar teddy bear doesn't disappoint as the film never wavers from its sole intention, to constantly make the audience laugh. To its benefit, Ted is a comedy first and everything else is a distant second. Thankfully, MacFarlane's goal was to serve up one of the funniest movies of all time, and nothing else. And although I wouldn't put Ted in the same category as comedic masterpieces such as Dumb and Dumber or The Hangover, MacFarlane delivers a hilarious premise to which he never squanders. The first time director plays the vulgar teddy bear card as far as it will take him, often using the film's R rating as a safety blanket. As a result, Ted blends together shock comedy, vulgarity, and well crafted dialogue into a perfect concoction of comedic success. There's no shortage of laughs here, which only validates Ted as the riotous comedy we all hoped it would be.
On the contrary, there's a few aspects of MacFarlane's debut that are open to criticism. First, behind the plethora of jokes, Ted is a hollow story filled with insignificant subplots. Secondary stories concerning Lori's boss and the film's main villain Donny (played by Giovanni Ribisi) leave very little impact and feel poorly constructed or effortlessly thrown together. However, with an outrageous premise like the one in Ted, expectations for a well thought out story must be tempered beforehand. Furthermore, another blemish in MacFarlane's work is the director's inability to separate Ted from his hit television show Family Guy. With Ted boasting the same voice as Family Guy's main character Peter Griffin, there's also similarities in the way the script periodically uses flashback. Never feeling like its own entity, Tedoccasionally unfolds like an overly long episode of MacFarlane's prized television show.
Keeping everything in perspective, it's impossible not to appreciate Ted for its sensational laugh out loud appeal. MacFarlane's able to keep the audience engaged and entertained for 106 minutes, even if it happens to feel recycled every now and again. In retrospect, Ted will meet your expectations without ever going above and beyond your hopes. And although there's only one dimension to the feature, did we really ever expect anything more? I can't argue against rushing out to see Ted in theatres, however, don't expect the greatest comedy of all time. Instead, you can expect a steady stream of laughs.