Tuesday, 27 February 2018


Seth Macfarlane, 2012, USA

Another comedy based on the principle that the American male is nothing but a loveable man-child who can’t grow up. Here’s the interesting spin: as a child, he’s a little lonely and wished for his eponymous teddy-bear to come to life, which it did, and now Ted acts as his bad influence and represents his arrested development. This means the gags are based upon the bear making a stream of inappropriate wisecracks, simulating sex acts, organising hooker parties, being racist (because being obnoxious masquerades as being rebellious) and getting wasted. And learning about cocaine from Sam J. Jones (Flash Gordon himself). Much of this is quite funny and diverting but the film has no idea how to explore its potential and, in the manner of all comedies that run out of imagination, steers headlong into uninteresting thriller mode in the last act to try and provoke unearned sentiment. The whole bear-in-peril plot might have worked up something genuinely satirical – since Ted is a faded celebrity – in a kind of “King of Comedy” manner, but for all its pop-culture references and profanities, it really is very conventional and somewhat ultimately dull because of it. 

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