Ted 2, like its predecessor, was directed and co-written by Seth MacFarlane, who also provides the voice of the bear known as Ted. His diction, straight out of Southie, has plenty of burly swagger and is marked by those peculiarly elongated and flattened vowels that turn the thing most of us know as a “car” into a “caah.” Ted 2 is not above turning human beings into caricatures; hell, it’s all about turning human beings into caricatures — poking fun, as the first movie did, at Boston lunkheads in particular. This time around, though, MacFarlane is going for something bigger: In the opening scene, Ted gets hitched to his lady love, Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth); months later, there’s trouble in paradise, and in a classic comedy setup ripped straight from the misguided motivations of real life, the two decide that having a child will fix their marriage.
Forget that Ted doesn’t have the necessary physical attributes to get his wife pregnant; it turns out that Tami-Lynn can’t conceive anyway. When the two try to adopt, the authorities decree that Ted isn’t a human being, but “property.” MacFarlane treats Ted’s battle for personhood as a civil-liberties issue, analogous to gay-marriage rights: Talking bears should be able to marry and have families, too.
They should, of course, but luckily MacFarlane doesn’t stretch that slender metaphor too thin. The gags mostly revolve around pot smoking and rampant, joyful use of the F-word. Meanwhile, Ted’s human sidekick, John (Wahlberg), mopes around — his marriage to Mila Kunis’s character, from the first movie, has ended in divorce — but is revivified by the charms of the young lawyer who takes Ted’s case, Amanda Seyfried’s Samantha. Unbeknownst to all, the first film’s nefarious, unbalanced villain Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) lurks in the shadows, once again mounting an evil bearnapping scheme.
That’s one plot point too many, but it still doesn’t dim the crude exuberance of MacFarlane’s film, which is, after all, just a delivery receptacle for raunchy jokes and cockeyed societal observations.