Film4: Tuesday 22 December, 9.00pm
A lonely boy’s Christmas wish brings his teddy bear to life in 1985. Which is fine, until the boy becomes 35-year-old bong-smoking Boston bozo Mark Wahlberg. And his best friend (and thunder buddy) is still a talking stuffed toy with a dirty mind and a potty mouth. Narrated deadpan by Patrick Stewart, the prologue’s terrific and the appalled reaction of Wahlberg’s parents is priceless.
Soon enough, alas, the repetitive 80s-obsessed jokes become as grating as the Boston accents and it’s certainly not the bear – created and voiced by contentious ‘Family Guy’ Seth MacFarlane – who’s the problem. It’s the dumb humans around him who aren’t credible, never mind amusing. Arrested development has rarely sounded meaner or looked stupider.
But then, when it comes to comedy, Wahlberg’s always been a bit of a wet blanket. And MacFarlane has a million ways to die in public. As for the cynical sentimental ending, it’s as gruesome as anything in the Child’s Play killer-doll movies. Brad Dourif’s Chucky – there was a talking toy with balls. But what the world now has to choke on is Ted 2.