Wednesday, August 15, 2012

TED - Less Subversive Than It Thinks It Is

Seth Macfarlane of Family Guy fame comes tothe big screen with an R-rated stoner movie that thinks it's radically subversive, but is really just another tired Judd Apatow-esque movie about infantile men wooing back their long-suffering mature girlfriends.  For the life of me I can't figure out why they fall for it.

Mark Wahlberg plays fit loser John Bennett who, as a bullied child wished upon a star and found that his Teddy Ruxspin had come to life.  Fast foward twenty-five years, and Ted is a washed-up former child-celebrity who drinks, does drugs, swears and treats women as cheap sex objects.  John has become a car rental agent and is implausibly dating successful businesswoman Lori (Mila Kunis) - that is until Ted invites round a hooker who shits on the floor of their apartment.  I kid you not. The rest of the film has two threads.  The first sees Ted get a job and move out to allow John to try and impress Lori with his new-found maturity.  The second sees Ted abducted by a psycho (Giovanni Ribisi - typecast), which of course allows a final act redemption as everyone realises just how much they love Ted after all.

It's not that Ted isn't funny.  There are a handful of laugh out loud scenes.  But as ridiculous non-PC subject matter goes, TED isn't in remotely the same league as, say, TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE, BAD SANTA or Armando Ianucci's The Thick Of It. And after a while the nostalgia for 1980s popculture - notably Flash Gordon - became a little tired.  Most of all, the movie just wasn't consistently funny enough for my taste, and when that happens you start questioning the endless gay jokes and crude talk.  Don't get me wrong, I love filthy humour more than most, but the only excuse for that kind of language is that the comedy hits the mark, and TED just didn't.

TED was released in June in Canada and the USA; and in July in Australia, Taiwan, New Zealand, Iceland, Croatia, Portugal, Estonia, Romania and Slovenia. It was released earlier this month in the UK, Czech Republic, Germany, Russia, Bulgaria, Israel Finland, Norway and Spain. It opens this weekend in Lithuania.  It opens next weekend in Greece, Hungary and South Africa. Ted opens on September 6th in Argentina, Denmark, Singapore and Poland; on September 14th in the Netherlands and Mexico; on September 21st in Brazil and Turkey; on September 28th in Hong Kong and Colombia; on October 4th in Sweden and Italy and on October 10th in Belgium and France. 

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