Critics in Love-Hate War Over Ted 2
Some say it's hilarious, others couldn't stand it
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2015 1:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – A court declares a 2-foot-tall talking teddy bear is, um, not human. So starts Seth MacFarlane's Ted 2, in which Ted and his faithful buddy John recruit a pot-smoking lawyer to plead his case while cracking jokes about black penises. What do critics have to say?

  • Will everyone love it? Definitely not, writes Joe Williams at the St. Louis Post Dispatch. But "because one man's mirth is another man's poison, this critic can only consult his belly as the barometer. On a gut level, Ted 2 is a funny film." One hilarious scene that sees the characters "blaze a trail through a law library is a stoner spoof of Footloose," he notes. Viewers might also be surprised to find some sweet moments, Williams says.
  • "MacFarlane—you know, we'd just about forgiven you for the Oscars. Just. And this is how you repay us?" asks Stephen Whitty at the Star-Ledger. In between calling him a "shallow fratboy" and "terminally clueless," Whitty pans the film as "unbearable," mainly because it’s absent of a decent plot and interesting characters. "Sure, MacFarlane can write simple jokes as long as the 'f' key on his laptop holds out," he notes. But "most trod the same well-worn territory."

  • Manohla Dargis is on the same page. Prepare for a "comedy dead zone," she warns. "Ted 2 is insultingly lazy hack work that is worth discussing primarily because of how (MacFarlane) tries and fails to turn race, and specifically black men, into comedy fodder," Dargis writes at the New York Times. One joke in particular in which Ted compares himself to a brutalized black slave proves "absurd, weird, and unfunny."
  • Yes, "Ted 2 is absurd and occasionally disgusting," but "it is also wickedly funny" and "surprisingly earnest," writes Rebecca Keegan at the Los Angeles Times. She admits "the overstuffed story takes one too many detours … and the ubiquitous Hasbro product placement is distracting," but the comedy is there. In fact, Keegan says she laughed so hard at one joke in particular that she thought security would escort her from the theater.