Cuddly, fluffy, snuggle, all adorableness of a teddy bear. Do you have one? One that works like a security blanket and becomes a semi-non-imaginary friend from your childhood? Have you ever expect it to become alive during your preteen, and become your friend throughout the year, and grew into adulthood, and become a pot-smoking, hooker-banging, crudely speaking friend? I’m not sure I want that in my life, but apparently, for Mark Wahlberg’s John Bennett, Ted is.
I was so excited when i saw the trailer for Ted on iTunes trailer a few months back. The trailer was rather misleading at first, i thought it’s another disney-esque living-toys movie for kids, how wrong was i! Ted is definitely not a movie for kids, though the poster manage to trick a few parents to bring their kids to see the talking teddy bear. Due to its R-rated nature, i did not expect it to air at all in Indonesia, but voila, few months after the initial US release, its finally here!
The movie open with a stereotypical kid’s Christmas movie, a snowy landscape serve as a backdrop of lonely childhood, a wise-sounding narrator introducing the hero of the story and the magic that about to happen to him, a talking teddy bear that will be his friend forever, a fulfillment of the lonely, friendless boy’s wish. John grew into adulthood with his popular-turn-forgotten-much-like-Corey-Feldman-Frankie-Muniz-and-Justin-Bieber teddy bear. Fast forward 27 year, 35 years old John work in a boring job, with his pot-smoking buddy Ted, and manage to score a fabulous girlfriend Lori. After four years of dating, Lori confronts John to encourage Ted to move out of theirs (probably Lori’s) apartment. Ted move out to a new apartment and works at a new job that he’s surprisingly good at. Can John grew up into the man that Lori wants? Will the severed bonds made the two best friends drifts appart?
The movie starts of by giving off this vibe that made you feel like you are watching a narrated opening of children christmas movie, do not worry, as soon as you hear the things the narrator said, you know you are in the right movie. The entire storyline is pretty much your generic bromance story that you can find in many movie with Jason Segal (2009 I Love You, Man or even 2011 The Muppets), where one of lead actor must chose between his bro or his ho. The bro in this case is a talking teddy bear, Ted, brilliantly voiced by Seth MacFarlane, from the Family Guy fame. He started off as a cuddly and lovable teddy bear a gift from John parents for christmas that became famous in the 90’s but eventually become a burn out, pot-smoking, crude-speaking friend of mid-thirties John. The bro is thunder buddies for live, with apparent obsession with 70’s-80’s pop culture, with no exception of Flash Gordon. I personally had a great laughs with all the pop cultural punch and references, from the ET homage, Star Wars’ The Imperial March ringtones, to Flashdance. Whether i knew it or not, and i appreciate the hilarity and comic of Ted’s every lines and heightened by his gestures and especially with that accent of his.
I have to say, even though Ted the animated CGI teddy bear is the obvious scene-stealer it does not mean the other casts was bad (refering 2011 Rise of The Planet of The Apes, remember that?). All the human casts interaction was very fluid and smooth, making Ted existence more believable. I was indifferent by Mark Wahlberg and the adorable Mila Kunis. Their performances are solid, although in Kunis case, i do not enjoy her performance here as much as That 70’s Show’s Jackie or on 2011 Friends with Benefits. Joel McHale become a douchebag boss of Lori, all narcissistic and unbelievably vain, not a huge gap from his character in TV series, Community. The absolute stand out for me was Giovanni Ribisi (who i first known as Friends‘ Phoebe’s brother Frank Jr), acting as Donny, an obsessed psycho fan of Ted, he just have that icky, creepy, stalker-y vibe.
Ted is MacFarlane (of Family Guy fame) live-action directorial debut. He also wrote the story and screenplay, as well as producing, and voicing the main character Ted. Ted (the teddy bear) movements were done by Seth himself and captured using motion-capture technology. Just like his animated TV series (Family Guy and American Dad!), MacFarlane use so many pop culture humor as well as crude unapologetic jabs to stereotypical politic-social-religious views that are culturally insensitive laced with sexual innuendos, so this might not be well received by certain groups of people who do not take jokes lightly. Some friends who watched this before i do complains about how dull it was. Well, i think that’s because most of the comedy are taking references to retro pop culture, more specifically the late 70’s and 80’s american pop culture, that most indonesian probably could not relate to. When i watched it last wednesday (with the theatre almost full) everyone around me at least was having a great time and laugh at most of the jokes be it referential or not. Maybe barudak bandung (youth of Bandung) is just bodor (humorous) to the core.
You need to be very open-minded to really appreciate the joy of watching Ted, a pure fun script that turned into a joyous 115-minute movie feature. I salute MacFarlane for his successful directorial debut, up until the time this blog review is written, Ted with mere US$50-65 million budget has earned more than US$420 million worldwide, not too shabby. On an American Dad! comic-con panel, Seth MacFarlane hints about the possible sequel for Ted, which i look forward to! (God-father Ted? Ted with John&Lori’s babies? :D).
Ted: Lori was right, you cannot take responsibility for anything that goes on in your life.
John Bennett: Oh, and you can?
Ted: I dont have to, Im a f*cking teddy bear.
Last notes goes out to Parents who bring their kids to Ted: check the damn rating first!! I’m not sure your kids can appreciate Ted what Ted can do with Turnips. For the movie theaters: please issue a proper warning when parents with kids or kids buy tickets for Ted, you have the right to refuse them, this is an R-rated movie for crying out loud (i am still pissed at parents who brought their under 10 years old kids to watch The Raid, exposing such young child to such level of violence is so shameful).
Ted is still screening at Blitzmegaplex and Cinema 21 chain, so get your dose of Ted’s dirty fozzie now! :D
pictures in this post are courtesy of IMDb