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Mon, Dec. 09

Caution: 'Ted 2' may gore your ox

Ted 2

Ted 2

I'd suggest you secure your soda in its holder and the popcorn safely on the floor or a vacant chair at the start of "Ted 2," because I laughed so hard in the first 20 minutes I'm sure I would have spilled something. Once you get past the grandiose big show number with no less than 40 or 50 dancers that have nothing to do with the rest of the film, you'll get quickly introduced to some irreverent humor.

I didn't see the first "Ted" and it really didn't matter. "Ted 2" is clearly a stand-alone comedy not dependent on its previous version. Director, writer, producer Seth Macfarlane also voices Ted. Mark Wahlberg plays Ted's best friend, John Bennett.

I've enjoyed Wahlberg in various action films and now have another genre for which to enjoy his performance. He plays a great straight man and his punch line delivery is impeccable.

Liam Neeson's typical action hero persona's interface with Ted over a box of cereal had me laughing hysterically.

It seemed nothing was off limits to poke fun at, though some people may find the humor offensive. I have a pretty thick skin and am rarely offended. Nothing here offended me - I laughed at pretty much every joke.

The plot: Ted is in need of legal counsel. Enter Amanda Seyfried as a junior attorney assigned to Ted's case. She's more of a straight man to Ted's and Wahlberg's punch lines. Morgan Freeman plays a high level attorney Ted and Seyfried want to take over the case.

"Ted 2" attacks political correctness at its core. When you expect bad news delivered by a silver-tongued, diplomatic character, you are shocked by the character's plain speech and bluntness.

The jokes came at short intervals during the first 20 minutes or so, and then they are spread way too thin, making the movie seem to last much too long. I thought too much emphasis was on getting high and smoking marijuana. But even the marijuana was the target of jokes as Ted and Wahlberg had to rely on the only bong they had.

Obscenities, adult situations and adult humor came in bunches. I did take my more mature 15-year-old daughter with me and I didn't get embarrassed or need to explain anything. She laughed as much as I did. Your mileage may vary.

Ted 2 is judiciously rated R and runs for about 115 minutes. I laughed hard and long and found Ted 2 to be mostly entertaining. And isn't that why we go to the show anyway? I'll give it three out of four Miners.

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