Ted 3/4

June 29, 2012 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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Ted is essentially a one-joke movie… writes James Berardinelli.

Okay, it’s a very funny joke, but it’s still only one joke. As a short, this could have been brilliant – hilarious, irreverent, and blisteringly satirical. I laughed a lot during the first half hour, not as much during the second half hour, and still less during the rest. There’s not quite enough material in the concept to fill a 100-plus minute motion picture. Director/writer Seth MacFarlane plugs some of the holes with his trademark impudence but there’s still a feeling of padding. Ted starts out with a bang, though, and the problems it has with sustaining that high level are more an indictment of the length of the film than of the quality of the humor.
Ted opens in suburban Boston on the day before Christmas, 1985. With Patrick Stewart narrating, it briefly sounds like we’re going to enter a world of magic and nostalgia… until we’re told about the favorite pastime of WASPy pre-teen boys. Living in this idealized community is John Bennett (who will grow up to be played by Mark Wahlberg), a seven-year old outcast with no friends who immediately becomes attached to his favorite Christmas present: an oversized teddy bear. That night, he makes an ill-advised wish for Teddy to come to life and, because nothing is more powerful than a young boy’s wish (except an Apache helicopter), John awakens to discover that, for the first time in his life, he has a best friend. The scene in which he introduces Teddy to his parents is priceless.

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