‘Brother Bear’ revised: a review of Seth McFarlene’s ‘Ted’

(Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)
Seth McFarlane’s ‘Ted’ movie viewers will not only fall in love with, but laugh at.

I must preface this article with saying I strongly dislike Mark Wahlberg as an actor; however, for those who love the outrageous comedy aligned with an intelligent backbone as perfected by Seth McFarlane, “Ted” is the must see comedy of the year.

McFarlane, most notably known for creating shows “Family Guy” and “American Dad,” created another comedic masterpiece that follows the friendship of John, played by Wahlberg, and Ted the teddy bear, voiced by Seth McFarlane.

I was at first skeptical about how much I would enjoy a film starring Mark Wahlberg and a teddy bear, despite the fact that I am an avid fan of both aforementioned shows that McFarlane created. My skepticism was erased within the first 10 minutes of the film as McFarlane’s comedic genius and Wahlberg’s typical lovable buffoon characterization sets the audience up for nonstop hilarity.

The story begins with a young child, John, wishing upon a shooting star at Christmas time that his new teddy bear would come to life. After the bear’s “awakening,” the news of the talking bear quickly transforms the child companion into a star and receiver of immense popularity. Though the talking toy concept seems a bit cliché, as the two friends grow older together, Ted becomes less the cuddly bear and more of the stereotypical “bro.”

They drink together, smoke together, pick up women together and sit in their underwear watching cartoons together. The simple fact that these are all actions being done by a fluffy brown teddy bear allows McFarlane to get away with stretching the full extent of the film’s R rating. Just as audiences love Stewie in “Family Guy,” despite his crudeness and violent tendencies, the same “can’t help but love ‘em” relationship is established in “Ted.”

Viewers will not only fall in love with Ted, but laugh at him, too. Throughout the entire film Ted is stalked by a number of fanatics who remember him as the child-star talking bear, which adds yet another element of comedic drama to the film. Though the movie has its fair share of vulgar humor, it provides balance through the many heartwarming scenes that illustrate relatable humanistic themes concerning love, friendship and self-discovery.

John, throughout the film, struggles to find equilibrium between his friendship with Ted and his romantic relationship with Lori, played by Mila Kunis. Their relationship poses queries familiar to most, delving into the topic of adulthood and the many responsibilities and sacrifices that accompany the transition out of adolescence and into the “real world.”

Overall, “Ted” was a humorous, vulgar comedy that all college students facing the ever-looming future of “grown-up hood” will relate to on numerous levels. The themes familiar to all humans accompanied by the nonstop laugh factor are only intensified further with the numerous unexpected cameos made by Norah Jones, John J. Jones and Ryan Reynolds, as well as the voice of Sir Patrick Stewart. If for no other reason, everyone needs to give this film a shot simply because it’s a comedy narrated by the beloved Capt. Jean-Luc Picard from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

The rental will hit stores on Dec. 11, just in time for finals.

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