Neil Fox on film: Ted, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid


Friday, 3rd August 2012, 5:19 am

Masterly as The Dark Knight Rises is, it is heavy going and what with the Olympics currently building national fervour and a rotten run of biblical weather, heavy is something people might not necessarily want from their summer cinema visit.

Thankfully, Family Guy and American Dad creator Seth MacFarlane has that covered.

MacFarlane’s first foray into live action feature film is a foul-mouthed, juvenile romp that is simplistic but very, very funny.

Judging from the reception his latter Family Guy episodes received, critically the time is right for MacFarlane to stretch his wings but while he takes on the film game and wins this time, he never strays far from familiar territory. But when it’s this funny, does it matter?

John (Mark Wahlberg) is an emotionally stunted adult whose best friend is the teddy bear that came to life thanks to a childhood wish.

They have a good life sharing beers and lewd banter without ever really feeling the need for more, but the arrival of Lori (Mila Kunis) changes things.

After four years together, she wants more from their relationship and this tests John and Ted’s friendship.

The film gets by, just about, because the high concept is suited to the feature-length treatment and the jokes keep coming. Plus, in Wahlberg and Kunis, there are two fine leads to see it over the line.

It will be interesting to see where Seth goes next, but for now this is good enough.

One of the outright funniest films in a while.

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Who is watching these? This is the third in this atrocious series, by my count, and the first two were unwatchable.

Is the weather that bad? Are parents that uncaring that they will dump their kids in the cinema and make them watch this while they head to a franchise coffee shop for skinny lattes and cake?

From the successful series of books, the third film sees our wimpy hero trying to work out what to do for the summer. No wonder our kids have no spare time imagination if this is what passes for big screen inspiration. Awful tosh.