Written and directed by Seth MacFarlane, 2012's Ted is, essentially, a movie about two guys who, despite being in their 30s, have trouble turning into adults. Or, that's what the movie would be if one of the guys wasn't a living teddy bear. In fact, if Ted didn't feature a living teddy bear, the movie would have very little going for it.
Starring MacFarlane as the voice of Ted; Mark Wahlberg as his friend, John; and Mila Kunis as John's girlfriend, Lori, Ted trades heavily on this living teddy bear twist and the notion that it will be amusing to hear a teddy bear say four letter words, drink, and do drugs. Of course, MacFarlane isn't wrong, it is fun to watch Ted get stoned, hire hookers, and deal with being a child. But it's only fun in spurts, and with nothing else going for the movie, that really is barely enough to sustain the 106 minute runtime (slightly longer on the unrated version).
As for the character, Ted is, as such a character probably should be, not the lead. Wahlberg's John is really the focus of the story. John, who wished for Ted to come alive one Christmas long ago, is now struggling with the fact that Ted is holding him back. Okay, wait, that's not quite right – Lori is struggling with the fact that Ted is holding John back and gives him an ultimatum about kicking the bear out.
None of the plot points come as any sort of surprise. Lori even has a smarmy boss with lots of money who hits on her relentlessly. Then, when a (yet again) creepy Giovanni Ribisi shows up asking about buying the bear, just about everyone in the audience can see exactly where that's headed, too. Not to beat a dead horse, but if there weren't a foul-mouthed bear at its center, Ted would be completely been there-done that.
Fortunately, there is a dirty teddy bear spewing filth, and so the laughs continue. The film would still benefit by being about 10 minutes shorter, but it works as it is. And, in case it isn't clear, Ted steals the show.
Ted, as a character, doesn't just succeed because he's funny, he also succeeds because the team working on the film have created an incredibly lifelike bear. With only a few minor exceptions, the CGI bear appears to truly there, interacting with John, Lori, and everyone else. No small part of this is due to the cast being successful at their parts, but watching the movie it is impossible to get past just how good Ted looks. Naturally, Blu-ray extras detail how Ted was brought to life, and those make for fascinating viewing.