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Foul-mouthed animal with a cuddly stuffing

106 minutes. Rating: 18+. Director: Seth MacFarlane. Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Giovanni Ribisi

Friday 31 August 2012, 06:16PM


Ted.
Ted.

It’s about a talking teddy bear and a lifelong friendship, but a kids movie this definitely ain’t.

Ted tells the story of Ted the teddy, a bong-smoking, beer-drinking stuffed toy with a penchant for prostitutes, Norah Jones and occasional bouts of extreme and gratuitous violence.

It’s no surprise it comes straight from the twisted mind of Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy, which should give you a pretty good idea of where this film is headed.

The humour is about as subtle as a sledgehammer, but MacFarlane wields it like a drug-crazed madman, knocking down all barriers of appropriateness and common decency. In short, it’s hilarious, and while definitely not for kids, the juvenile minded adults among us will definitely get a kick.

It’s not all fart jokes and throwaway obscenity though. Ted has plenty of heart if you’ve got the stomach to sit through it. In his feature directorial debut, MacFarlane successfully balances the absurd components of the film with a number of fairly weighty, if familiar, statements on love and friendship.

But even with the sweet moments, this is a film that isn’t going to please everyone, and audiences who aren’t interested in watching a stuffed Teddy Bear hump a grocery checkout stand and snort cocaine with Flash Gordon should probably look elsewhere.

It’s also not going to blow you away with a compelling story. Indeed, if you’ve seen any bromance film, you’re probably pretty familiar with the central threads, and had the movie not featured a sex-crazed talking stuffed animal, Ted would be little more than a formulaic and blatant comedy setups.

But, at the end of the day, it does star a sex-crazed talking stuffed animal, and despite solid performances from Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, Ted is the true star of the show.

Watching the surprisingly lifelike character perform even the most basic actions (such as driving a car or engaging in a fistfight with a duck) never gets old, lifting up even the formulaic elements with their utter absurdity.

If you’re already into the type of off-centre world that MacFarlane’s conjured up before, you’ll enjoy seeing that world fleshed out and made surprisingly cuddly. But definitely leave the kids at home.

4 stars.

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