"Funnier, wilder and even more naughty than the first movie!" according to Bill Zwecker, WFLD-TV (Fox), Ted 2 finds John (Mark Wahlberg) dejected after a speedy marriage and divorce, but Ted's romance with co-worker Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) is full-speed ahead after a dream wedding presided over by none other than Flash Gordon (Sam J. Jones) himself. But when the pair tries to adopt a child, they are stunned by the contention that Ted is not a person. With the help of John and newly minted lawyer and longtime weed aficionado Samantha L. Jackson (Amanda Seyfried), the couple takes on the intolerance of a system unable to understand their love.
Seth MacFarlane's foul-mouthed, pot-smoking talking stuffed bear is back in 'Ted 2' and depending on one's feeling about the original movie, this sequel may or may not be for you. In other words, it's pretty much on par with the first movie with all the positives and negatives that brings with it. There are a lot of big laughs in 'Ted 2', but there's really not a super-engaging story, and the movie does run a bit longer (at almost two hours – over that if you watch the 'Unrated' version on this release) than a good comedy probably should, resulting in some scenes and sequences that seem dragged out.
The movie opens with the marriage of Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) to Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) and the revelation that John (Mark Wahlberg) has gotten divorced from Lori (who was played by Mila Kunis and does not return for this sequel). The movie then jumps ahead a year to reveal that Ted and Tami-Lynn are having problems with their marriage – starting off with a huge argument that any person out there who has been in a long-term relationship is probably familiar with (if you're not…give it time!). After a few days of not talking to one another, Ted decides that the best way to heal their marriage is to have a child of their own.
Of course, with Ted being a stuffed animal, he's going to need to find a sperm donor. This leads to a couple of funny scenes, including the one most of you have already seen in the trailer involving NFL quarterback Tom Brady. However, it's soon discovered that Tami-Lynn is infertile and the couple's quest now moves to the adoption realm. While filling out the proper paperwork, the state of Massachusetts tells Ted that he's actually not a person at all, but property – and promptly annuls his marriage to Tami-Lynn. This establishes the main premise for 'Ted 2' – which has the stuffed bear suing the state to be given the same rights as human beings.
Ted's case winds up in the hands of young attorney Samantha Jackson (Amanda Seyfried, who is delightfully entertaining in this movie), who immediately bonds with both Ted and John over the fact that she seems to like drugs just as much as they do. She's also completely ignorant of most pop culture, which leads to more than a few of the best jokes in the movie. In a typical comedy, Ted's legal fight would be enough to carry the movie, but once again (like in the first film) the story here is overstuffed (pardon the pun) with a subplot involving the returning character of Donny (Giovanni Ribisi), who is once again out to get Ted. Ribisi's character really didn't work in the first movie, and I'm not sure he really works here either – although he's a little less grating and creepy this time around (but just a little!).
Surprisingly – or perhaps not so surprisingly – the best humor in the movie comes from throw-away lines that have little to do with the main story. Giving any of them away would ruin the fun of watching 'Ted 2', but I will reveal that there's a fantastic cameo from Liam Neeson early in the movie that you won't want to miss, and later in the movie Ted makes a comment about Samantha's eyes that most of us have been wanting to say about Amanda Seyfried for years…kudos for her for being such a good sport and allowing Seth to put that joke in the film, as it's one of the movie's biggest laughs.
Even more that the first movie, 'Ted 2' is loaded with pop culture references and a number of references/homages to other films – including such titles as The Breakfast Club, Jurassic Park, and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Some of these are quite entertaining (I loved 'The Breakfast Club' bit), but some seem to serve little purpose other than title-dropping (the 'Planes, Trains, and Automobiles' bit, for example, is merely a carbon copy of a John Candy scene, with no additional humor or jokes added).
Overall, I enjoyed 'Ted 2' quite a bit…but probably not as much as the original film. I think a lot of that has to do with the way the first movie sort of came out of nowhere and I didn't know what to expect going into it. Here, I knew exactly what to expect, and the movie delivers that – no more, but not a whole lot less, either. That said, fans of the first go-around should find enough in this sequel to warrant adding this release to their collection.
The Blu-Ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Ted 2' comes to life on home video in a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD combo pack. The dual-layer DVD and 50GB Blu-ray are housed inside a standard Elite keepcase, which also includes an insert containing a code for a digital copy of the film. The reverse side of the insert has a promo for a free digital movie if one signs up for Universal Studio emails (the offer didn't begin until this title's release date, so I was unable to check out which movies were being offered or if they were full HD versions). A slipcover matching the artwork of the keepcase's slick slides overtop.
Both the Blu-ray and the DVD are front-loaded with promos and trailers for Trainwreck, Straight Outta Compton, TV's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine', Everest, Rock the Kasbah, and Tremors 5.
In addition to this combo pack, retailer Target is offering an exclusive steelbook version of this title, which contains the same Blu-ray and DVD found in this release. Best Buy is offering an exclusive version that includes additional digital content (including the movie itself on their CinemaNow app). Walmart is also offering an exclusive T-shirt with their combo pack (which is otherwise identical to this release). Also, fans who have not yet purchased the first film can get their hands on a Ted/Ted 2 Blu-ray combo pack (a DVD set is also available, but there is no set containing both formats) that contains discs identical to the one in this release and the one in the original Blu-ray release, as well as a digital code for both movies. The combo pack for both films is available at all home video retailers.
The Blu-ray in this release is region-free.
This is another great-looking Blu-ray release from Universal. 'Ted 2' was shot digitally on Sony CineAlta F65 cameras and is presented here at the 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The first thing viewers will notice when watching the Blu-ray is the incredible color range that the movie presents, particularly in the well-made opening credits and then at the conclusion of the movie, which is a re-creation of New York's Comic-Con. Detail and depth is also well-done, and black levels are deep and inky throughout.
The video doesn't have any noticeable issues with banding or noise, but I did notice some very minor aliasing/shimmering in some of the establishing shots, such as when the camera is panning down or across buildings. Other than those minor occurrences, this is an impressive transfer from Universal that should more than please most viewers.
The featured audio track here is a 5.1 English DTS-HD Master Audio one that is more than enough for a movie of this sort. In addition to the crisp dialogue the track provides, there's also frequent use of directionality, as often the spoken word will come from a single speaker, depending on which side of the room (or the location off-screen) the dialogue is coming from. The rears add an immersive feeling where needed (like in the climatic Comic-Con sequence) or are used to amp up the musical soundtrack (as with the movie's big opening musical number).
I could detect no technical problems or glitches in the track, so things like dropouts, hissing or even a mix that emphasizes background noises and music over the spoken word (an issue I encounter frequently on big studio home video releases) isn't an issue here.
In addition to the 5.1 DTS-HD lossless track, 5.1 DTS tracks are available in both Spanish and French, as is an English 2.0 Descriptive Video Service track. Subtitles are available in English SDH, Spanish, and French.
Both the best and the worst thing that can be said about 'Ted 2' is that it's more of the same. If you hated the first film, you probably won't like this one either, but if you loved the original, there's plenty here to enjoy. It's just as crude, rude, and occasionally as side-splittingly funny the second time around. The only real downside is that the sequel isn't nearly the surprise the first one was and the movie probably runs a bit longer than it should. Still, there's more than enough fun here to give 'Ted 2' a hearty recommendation.