Thursday, July 12, 2012

Seth MacFarlane: Ted

Mark Wahlberg, Ted, Universal Pictures, 2012.

Perpetuating the man-boy mythos of our country, by way of "bromance"y bullshit and over the top gross-out humor, satirist Seth MacFarlane makes a truly forgettable directorial debut with the pointless Ted.

Forced and dull, with snatches of true humor, Ted is a novel idea which could have worked as a ten minute sketch; at this length, it resembles a bloated corpse more than a motion picture. A little boy's magical teddy bear grows up with him, turning into a surly pervert as the boy grows into a man. The sight gags, tiered sequences, and stifling shenanigans wear thin fast. MacFarlane, the genius behind the provocative, hilarious cultural phenomenon Family Guy, voices the boisterous bear. Ted goes from cuddly to unbearably obnoxious at the snap of a studio boss' finger.

Mark Wahlberg is the mess' only saving grace; his turn as John is excellent; his portrayal of an average Joe rings true. His performance almost doesn't belong in this heap. The luminous Mila Kunis is utterly wasted as the love interest. The problem is that MacFarlane's reach has exceeded his grasp. Live action films are a far cry from animated sitcoms. The writer-director has the best intentions, but what should be effortless feels laborious.

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