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Saturday, July 06, 2013
TED: or how to screw up a movie
BY Kurt von Behrmann
The insight from hindsight provides perspective. This is particularly true when viewing movies that have been released some time ago. I had the disappointment recently of seeing what should have been a decent movie become a steaming pile of human excrement. In retrospect that could be a harsh assessment, but TED had some much potential at being truly funny instead of mildly and inconsistently amusing.
The premise of the film is that a lonely alienated little boy wishes his teddy bear could really speak. His wish is immediately granted. The whole event is played a little bit too seriously. There are no real funny punches. I mean, you have a teddy bear come to life. There are lines of potential here TED is in too big of a rush to get to that simply are only worth the trip.
As to be expected TED becomes a sensation making the talk show rounds. The potential for humor here is lost. The expectation is high when you consider that the maker and head visionary of the “Family Guy,” Seth Mac Farlane could make such a laugh free movie.
The little asides, the innuendo, the sharp witted social commentary, all of that is missing. What TED lowers itself to being the equivalent of a sea of fart jokes. It never elevates itself above the obvious. Even the plot line is taken from the typical “CHICK FLICK” zone. Yes, it becomes romantic and the few jokes here just evaporate.
Where is the cynicism, the where are the clever lines and images, where are the bloody jokes?
Shackled with a lacking script, Mila Kunis is giving no jokes and little to do except look pretty. She is totally wasted here. Unlike the Family Guy, generous with the jokes to every character, Kunis is given no laughing lines at all.
The situation is made worse by former one hit wonder Marky Mark, or whatever he calls himself. (Mark Walburg) He should have stuck with white rapping. At least was mildly interesting with his six pack abs and mediocre open shirted dancing. Now he is a mediocre actor getting parts in mainstream movies for no discernable reason. Like Mila Kunis, he is given no jokes at all.
TED degenerates into the typical romantic comedy. Short on belly laughs.
The premise of TED, as improbable as penguins falling from the sky, had potential. Sadly it is all just a pile of the expected with little to find humorous. Even the presence of Flash Gordon does little to make this an interesting film.
If I had to pay to see this, I would be furious. If I were watching this on H.B.O., this is passable pallid entertainment that fails to see humor everywhere instead of here and there.