In the three years since Seth MacFarlane’s surprise smash Ted, MacFarlane hasn’t had the rosy relationship with Hollywood one might expect from someone who anchored a summer mega-hit. He bombed while hosting the Oscars in 2013, drawing ire for his “equal-opportunity” approach to offending people, and last year’s star-studded Western farce, A Million Days To Die In The West, sank both commercially and critically. Our own Nathan Rabin offered one of the lone tumbleweeds of measured praise among the mass of bloodthirsty critics who reamed the film.
Forgoing the period dress-up, Ted 2 returns to more pressing issues—the struggle of marriage equality, for one—to underpin a story about a teddy bear trying to conceive after marrying his human girlfriend (Jessica Barth). The first Ted aimed for a sweet spot between Amblin-esque emotion and copious dick jokes, but this trailer frontloads the raunch, spotlighting the myriad new characters, from Amanda Seyfried’s trollishly named Samantha L. Jackson to Morgan Freeman’s unnamed spiritual counselor. Liam Neeson is suspiciously MIA, though Flash Gordon’s long-dormant Sam L. Jones finds room for another cameo, making him an unlikely franchise player. Here goes:
The trail of the tape
Title: Ted 2
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Screenwriters: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Morgan Freeman, Jessica Barth, Liam Neeson, John Slattery
Release date: June 26
The entire trailer in one line of dialogue: “We’ll get a lawyer and sue the government for your civil rights.”
The entire trailer in one screengrab:
Mileage is going to vary on this one, depending on how much you can tolerate MacFarlane’s kitchen-sink approach to comedy and his reverence to 1980s cult ephemera —here epitomized by the gag set to 1981’s cheeseball ballad “At This Moment.” Rarely does a trailer encapsulate its entire tone so completely in one gag. The end of the trailer hints at a less-explicit examination of maturity, but it remains to be seen whether this will lean more toward humor and heart when the centerpiece involves spilled genetic material.