Ted-2-poster-newTed was pretty funny, right? I mean, it was funnier than expected, wasn’t it? Funnier than it probably had any right to be? Because at the heart of it, it was an hour and a half extended gag about a living, swearing teddy bear who loved to smoke dope and hire prostitutes and party with the guy who played Flash Gordon. And on these bare bones, Seth MacFarlane, as he is prone to do, threw some random sketch type gags that may or may not have been picked up from the Family Guy cutting room floor. If it has a cutting room.

But it was funny, in no small part thanks to the incredible CGI of the bear and the astounding CGI of a live-action Mark Wahlberg. In fact, it became the biggest grossing R-rated comedy ever. Ever. So it’s with some predictability that the sequel, Ted 2, was going to show up sooner or later.

The movie opens with Ted marrying Tami-Lynn, a female human and the natural conclusion of a joke that was started three years ago. Poor Johnny (Wahlberg), we soon learn, has divorced from whatever character Mila Kunis played in the original film. Once we get a pointless song and dance number out of the way, we fast forward a year to find the honeymoon is over for the newly-weds who decide to rediscover their love by having a baby.

Ted is ill-equipped to perform the necessary because, um, he’s a teddy bear, and Tami-Lynn’s required organs have suffered from years of drug abuse (side-splitting stuff), so the couple are forced to adopt. This request is ultimately declined because, um, he’s a teddy bear, and a chain of events are triggered that result in Ted losing everything because the State of Massachusetts has just realized he’s a bear and not a person. He’s just a toy; a possession. And so begins Ted’s journey to reverse this decision with the help of pro bono lawyer / love interest for Johnny, played by Amanda Seyfried.

It’s hard to imagine many people walking into this honestly expecting anything better than the first outing, and that’s an wise position to take. There are no surprises here except that the gag of a living, swearing teddy bear who really, really loves to smoke an awful lot of dope this time is further extended to the two hour mark.

That’s not to say there are no laughs to be had. In places, it’s hilarious. Throwing apples at joggers was random enough to make me laugh out loud, the Tom Brady cameo is as good as the trailer promised, and a gross-out mishap in a sperm clinic gilded its own lily with a well-judged hashtag joke. And judging by the number of Gollum gags, it would appear that Seyfried doesn’t take herself too seriously.

There’s a lot of barren ground between these high points, however, and for a movie that’s supposed to be about a character trying to prove he is human, the end result is an oddly lifeless affair packed with the same old stuffing.