Unless you’ve been in a coma, have spent your life on a desert island or recently returned from orbiting outer space, you are already aware that a Seth MacFarlane movie like “Ted” and its sequel contains two or more of the following: 80’s references, race jokes, gay jokes, bathroom humor, sex jokes and slapstick. Oh, and elaborate dance numbers, one of which opens “Ted 2” in which we see Ted (voice of MacFarlane) tying the knot with his girlfriend (Jessica Barth). His lifelong friend who brought him to life one Christmas Eve as a child with a wish, John (Mark Wahlberg) is not feeling particularly happy at the reception, as he’s now divorced. Ted tries to encourage Mark to start dating again, leading to a running gag in which gorgeous women hit on Mark throughout the movie with limited success.
Fast forward to a year later, and there’s trouble brewing between Ted and Jessica, so when a co-worker recommends that they have a baby, they seize on the suggestion – only trouble is, it’s impossible to procreate with a stuffed animal, so Ted and Mark are off on a quest to secure Tom Brady’s sperm (the kind of escapade it’s easy to imagine Brian and Peter having on “Family Guy”). They impersonate air-conditioner repairmen, and though Mark assures Tom that he’s not a cheater and that “your balls are awesome,” they are ultimately unsuccessful. So they decide to use Mark’s (more slapstick this time in a sperm bank facility), but there is trouble on the horizon for Ted, when he is suddenly declared to be “property” in the eyes of the law, and thus loses his job, marriage, credit cards and pizza chain discount.
Inspired by regular viewings (and mockings of) “Law and Order,” Ted and Mark decide to take this case to court, and wind up having as their attorney, newbie/pothead Sam L. Jackson (not that one). Sam is played by Amanda Seyfried, who has a degree from Arizona State (the subject of way too many jokes). Despite them studying to a montage, the trio are unsuccessful in their first attempt to win the case, so they set off on a road trip to see a really famous lawyer (Morgan Freeman), complete with a car wreck and an overnight stay in what they discover is nirvana. Morgan makes an important point about why he doesn’t want to help them, namely that Ted (and Mark) have pretty much wasted their lives when they could be doing Something Useful, so they depart dejected.
Then for plot purposes, Ted and Mark get into a fight and split up, paving the way for stalker and Ted’s number one fan Donny (Giovanni Ribisi who appears to be there under duress) to successfully execute another kidnapping, this time at a comic convention, in which he dresses as Raphael the Ninja Turtle. This time, he enlists the head of Hasbro Toys, maker of the Ted bears, hoping to find out just makes Ted tick, so he can be replicated as a best-selling children’s toy. There’s a giant nerd fight, a near death experience for a character, and an eventual happy ending.
Unlike when I saw the first movie, “Ted,” there were no children in my audience, just teens and adults who appeared, like me, to find the movie overall amusing, though not wet-your-pants hilarious. Perhaps partly due to recent national news events, some of the reactions to the race jokes received belated and mild laughter, which may have been of the “I can’t believe they went there,” variety. Or they just might not have found the sequel quite as funny as the first.