Seth MacFarlane, in a recent interview, was quizzed about why he wanted to make a sequel to Ted. His first answer was pretty categoric. It made a lot of money and was very successful. That should pretty much tell you everything about Ted 2 from the get-go. Seth MacFarlane reunites with Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Barth and Giovanni Ribisi and ropes in newcomers Amanda Seyfried, John Slattery together with an extended cameo by Morgan Freeman for more fun and frolics.
Ted is now married to Jessica Barth's Bostonian stereotype and, as you'd expect, marital life isn't all what it seems. Their relationship is struggling because neither of them are able to find meaningful work beyond their current situation. Not only that, Ted's hard-partying lifestyle is beginning to have an affect, as well as the fact that he's basically unable to consummate the marriage. Sure enough, in order to fix their problems, they decide to have a child. This is where the film begins as it's revealed Ted is essentially not a person in the eyes of the law and must sue for his personhood. Meanwhile, a janitor at a toy company (Giovanni Ribisi, reprising his creepy role from the first one) somehow miraculously convinces an executive to kidnap Ted so that they can duplicate him and sell millions of Ted clones.
Mark Wahlberg doesn't have the same verve and spark for the material this time around, turning in a pretty listless performance as the goofball companion to Ted. Meanwhile, Amanda Seyfried's young lawyer is a bit forgettable and doesn't really to seem to get into the spirit of it all, whilst Giovanni Ribisi is the only one who seems to be enjoying himself. Liam Neeson turns up in one of the funniest cameos we've seen in quite a while whilst Tom Brady has an extended sequence that involves an involuntary sperm donation.
There's the usual mix of misadventures, celebrity cameos and cutaway jokes you'll remember from Family Guy. That's essentially what Ted 2 is - an extended episode of later-season Family Guy with an impressive cast. And your opinion of later-season Family Guy is what's going to determine whether you like Ted 2 or not. Simple as that. The jokes are fast and plentiful, but the hit-rate is about 30% or less and you can pretty much tell that they're borrowing wholesale from leftover jokes from Family Guy, American Dad and the Cleveland Show. The repetitive use of cutaway jokes, like in the shows, becomes tiresome after a while.
It's clear that Seth MacFarlane is a half-decent director when he's trying. This isn't trying, however. This is MacFarlane taking the easy route and that's fine if you're into Family Guy-lite. Sometimes, you want something low-brow that doesn't tax you in any way, shape or form.