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Ted (DQ)


Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel McHale, Sam J Jones, Bill Smitrovich, Aedin Mincks, Norah Jones; Seth MacFarlane & Patrick Stewart (voices)

Director: Seth MacFarlane

Inspired, foul-mouthed tomfoolery, the brainchild of animator/singer/actor/director MacFarlane, the man behind TV's Family Guy.

'There is nothing,' intones the narrator (Stewart), 'more powerful than a young boy's wish.' And so it proves, as Ted (voice of MacFarlane), beloved bear of John Bennett, comes to life, if in a somewhat less cuddly way than the boy might have imagined.

Decades later, John (Wahlberg), now 35, and Ted (something of a celebrity) are still together, smoking bong and swigging beer, with the furry toy even more scabrous than his master (or, we should say, buddy).

OK, this is something of a one-joke film, but the joke is pretty funny for most of the way. John, though stuck in a boring job, is in a long-term relationship with the vivacious Lori (Kunis), but is reluctant to commit further, as he cannot bear (sorry) the thought of being parted from Ted.

Ted himself, lovably disgraceful in his behaviour towards women, whom he bonks with enthusiasm (presumably in lieu of animated female teddies), can't understand it when he has to move out, although he puts a brave face on, in his new flat - 'Ikea: did the whole place out for 47 dollars.'

As foul as it's funny - it seems churlish to wish it could have been a bit more consistently hilarious - the movie, just a blast of an idea that probably owes something to TV's Wilfred, also roguishly makes way for guest stars to pop in - notably Sam J Jones, reprising Flash Gordon from his 1980 film (gone to seed and debauchery, of course), Ryan Reynolds, Tom Skerritt and Ted Danson. They, like Wahlberg and Kunis, play up and play the game.

One hopes, though, that the multi-talented MacFarlane will try something equally original next time and not settle for Ted 2.

David Quinlan

USA 2012. UK Distributor: Universal. Technicolor/Prints by deluxe.
106 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 2, Swearing 2.

Review date: 28 Jul 2012