Not a montage of slightly condescending geek speeches, Ted is something far worse. It wasn't screened for critics by press deadlines. It should not be screened by anyone.


WW Critic's Score: D-

Contempt fuels the comedy of Seth MacFarlane. He's disdainful toward his own meal ticket, the Simpsons rip-off Family Guy. He sneers at other performers: His new talking-bear movie Ted has the gall to shit-talk Razzie winners before it manages to land a single joke of its own. Most of all, MacFarlane—Ted's writer, director and vocal star—bullies any member of the audience who dares take offense to his putatively outrageous poon-'n'-minstrel humor. Ted only values a joke if it makes people uncomfortable—never mind whether it's funny, or if it even makes any sense. (Talking bear to Norah Jones: "Thanks for 9/11.") It may be the first feature-length movie to exist primarily as an act of trolling.

Yet somehow this sniggering abortion manages to fail at even this meager goal. The bear (voice by Peter Griffin, body by Snuggle Fabric Softener) is racist, sexist and forgettable. Mark Wahlberg joins, in raging fetal-alcohol Masshole mode, and the combination suggests an episode of Unhappily Ever After... hosted by Jeff Dunham. Family Guy is notorious for mistaking a pop-culture reference for a joke about said pop-culture reference, but in Ted the non sequiturs arrive slower, and stay forever. It opens with a narrator describing the fate of former child stars: "Eventually, nobody gives a shit." Seth MacFarlane, your "eventually" is calling. R.

Ted opens today at area multiplexes.