— by Jeff Schultz
I began reviewing this comedy last July, in Milan, where I saw half of it in Italian, without subtitles. Having just watched it again, from the beginning, in English, filled in a lot of gaps and also better explained the tepid Italian audience reaction. Because the pop culture references are front-loaded in the movie, I saw most of them the first time, and in addition to the silence that greeted the previously mentioned “Law & Order” theme music and the Jay Leno cameo, here are some other gags they may not have gotten: “toss a salad” as a sexual phrase, the Electric Slide, “Trix are for Kids”, the sitcom “Sister, Sister”, “[smarter] than the average bear”, and Lauren Sanchez (who admittedly would baffle most American audiences). As for the movie itself, while way too long (comedies should almost never exceed two hours), there’s plenty to laugh at; had a full half-hour been cut, it would have left us wanting more. In that sense, TED 2 is like Seth MacFarlane’s A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST, but better in that it doesn’t waste quite as much time on the romance (here, between Mark Wahlberg and Amanda Seyfried). Amanda, by the way, sings a lovely ballad with lyrics by Seth (Walter Murphy did the music), with an even lovelier version by Norah Jones over the end credits. Best inside joke: Patrick Warburton doing cosplay at a Comic-Con convention — as The Tick!