From Seth MacFarlane, the creator of animated television series Family Guy, comes his debut feature, Ted, a surreal and subversive comedy about a grown man’s relationship with a real life teddy-bear.

Patrick Stewart voices a hilarious introduction that shows how Teddy becomes real thanks to a wish by eight year old Johnny in 1985. There’s a quick but very funny scene where Teddy meets Johnny’s parents, followed by Teddy’s rise to fame. The action then moves forward to the present day. Ted is now a depressed ex-celeb and has grown up with his loyal buddy John (Mark Wahlberg), indulging in a life of booze, drugs and girls. Ted has become a harsh, foul-mouthed, obnoxious personality – the opposite of his cute, cuddly teddy-bear roots – providing ample opportunity for laughs. The pair’s maturity remains stagnated in adolescence and John struggles to hold down a boring job at a car rental business. Meanwhile John’s career minded girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis), is frustrated by John’s lack of motivation and offers him an ultimatum – it’s her or Ted.

Mark Wahlberg has already demonstrated his ability to do comedy in 2010 hit The Other Guys and his comic timing in Ted is impeccable. As he reels off a long list of white trash names in an effort to guess Ted’s next conquest, he has his audience in stitches. Mila Kunis’ role is less exciting, with much of her part spent moaning about John, nagging John and crying over John. But there are also some great cameo and supporting performances in Ted, including a side-splitting one by Giovanni Ribisi as an obsessive Ted fan.

Ted is brash, crude and offensive but it’s also very, very funny

Ted is brimming with sarcastic humour typical of Seth MacFarlane’s work. It’s brash, crude and offensive but very funny. At times, the humour is even surreal, with Flash Gordon making a number of appearances, and a fight between Ted and John takes the comedy to epic levels.

Ted’s plot lurches from one silly scenario to another leaving you never quite sure where the story is going, but in the moment this doesn’t really seem to matter. Instead the comedy stems from the banter between John and Ted, so simply the more opportunities for just sitting on the sofa or partying, the better. And, while it’s lack of a clear plot sometimes makes the film seem a little odd, it also enhances the element of surprise, making for an unpredictable ending.

Ted is not for the easily offended with comedy that’s crude, foul-mouthed and immature but very, very funny. With a first-rate comic performance from Mark Wahlberg, Ted is the must see comedy of the summer.

VERDICT: ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪

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