Seth MacFarlane is back with another live-action comedy in 2015 - this time, in the form of Ted 2, a sequel to the Family Guy and American Dad! creator's hit 2012 feature directorial debut. Mark Wahlberg also returns as John Bennett, the Thunder Buddy For Life to eponymous foul-mouthed living teddy bear Ted (MacFarlane). Wahlberg's Ted costar Mila Kunis won't make an appearance, though.
It's just as well, however, since the trailers for Ted 2 have made it clear: this is really Ted's story, not John's. Cast in point, the Ted sequel highlights Ted and his wife Tami-Lynn's (Jessica Barth) attempt to begin a family together - only for Ted to end up having to prove that he qualifies as "human" in the eyes of the law. Amanda Seyfried costars as Ted's lawyer (who shares his and John's love for getting high), while Morgan Freeman also pops up, playing a respected civil rights attorney who counsels Ted... or something like that.
You can watch the latest red band trailer released for Ted 2 (which, obviously, is NSFW), above.
Both the latest preview and the previous Ted 2 red band trailer make it pretty clear: this is a sequel along the lines of recent box office success Pitch Perfect 2, in that it's more about giving the audience of the first installment more of what they want (or, rather, what MacFarlane and his collaborators think their fans want). Basically, it's best to not expect Ted 2 to be another 22 Jump Street; that is, a comedy sequel that could've been a quick and easy cash-in, but instead wound up having a genuine creative impetus behind it (and is full of meta-textural qualities).
Ted features the sort of raunchy comedy and pop culture riffs that generally characterizes MacFarlane's cartoon TV show work (there, with the freedom afforded by the R Rating), but wrapped it around a more sincere narrative that deals with John's need to grow up and fully settle into his adult life. MacFarlane's western parody A Million Ways to Die in the West wasn't nearly as critically/commercially successful as Ted, but likewise has a basic character story at its core, surrounded by lewd jokes and foul-mouthed shenanigans.
The storyline for Ted 2, by comparison, may examine timely subject matter concerning social equality and human rights, but thus far those elements appear to be almost an afterthought (as does any sort of meaningful narrative). Then again, those moviegoers who were unimpressed by MacFarlane's previous attempts as a writer/director to tell meaningful stories through the lens of R-Rated comedies - they might just prefer that he stick more to throwing as many jokes at the wall as possible, as seems to be the case here.
Ted 2 opens in U.S. theaters on June 26th, 2015.