A Million Ways to Die in the West is Seth McFarlane’s latest attempt at making the masses laugh with poop and dick jokes, except that he’s
actually starring in this one. The real question though, is did it actually work?
I will admit first and foremost that I’ve never been the biggest Seth McFarlane supporter as a lot of his joke just hit as slightly too immature
to me. I also never enjoyed Family Guy as much as everyone else seems to. That being said though, I enjoyed Ted and figured that I’d give this movie a shot.
The plot of the movie is pretty simple, Albert (Seth McFarlane) a coward from the west who hates every second of it is broken up with by his girlfriend Louise(Amanda Seyfried) after chickening out on a duel. Albert is determined to win her back and tries to get help from his friend Edward (Giovanni Ribisi) and his prostitute girlfriend who won’t sleep with Edward until marriage because they’re christian Ruth (Sarah Silverman). Meanwhile, rough tough bandit Clinch (Liam Neeson) plans on robbing a town, but doesn’t want his girlfriend Anna (Charlize Theron) harmed, so he sends her to stay in the town of Old Stump in the meantime. Albert eventually finds out that Louise has a new boyfriend, the owner of the moustachery, the suave and handsome Foy (Neil Patrick Harris). In the middle of a particularly brutal bar fight, Albert saves Anna and they get to know each other. They decide to attend the fair together so Anna can make Louise jealous. After quite a bit of mocking, Albert challenges Foy to a duel, but not knowing how to shoot, requires Anna to provide some teaching. The next chunk is very predictable, montage of getting better at shooting while they “subtly” fall in love. One of clinch’s henchman see’s Anna kissing Albert the night before the duel and tells Clinch who is know back from his job. He goes over to Anna’s hotel and kidnaps her. And of course, the movie wraps up with Albert having to rescue his new love from the big bad Clinch and prove he’s not a coward.
You get a feel for how the movie will go by the opening credits as the names pop up, you get some music and some dramatic stills of the west. Of course, by the third name, you’re bored and just want the movie to get started. This kind of sets the pace for the movie, as it just constantly drags its feet with the pacing. Occasionally, it’ll hit
it’s stride and carry you through a good 20 mins before coming to a screeching halt to have Seth McFarlane’s character tell a joke that falls flat that brings the whole
thing sliding to a stop on it’s face.
Pacing aside though, the movie has quite a few jokes that had me laughing. While this movie definitely doesn’t take itself seriously, (Seth McFarlane seems to know just a
little too much about the science and how things work, and many references are made to things that weren’t around at the time of the west, but it’s a comedy so I’ll allow it.), It seems to take itself “too” un-seriously at times. The amount of dick and fart and poop jokes can’t be counted your hands and feet. Some of them are pretty funny, but some just have you starring at the screen and pointing, asking why that was necessary (I’m looking at you sheep scene, you know which one).
The best part of this movie is the supporting cast. Neil Patrick Harris is on point and even though his lines aren’t that particularly amazing, he adds charma and wit to them and you can’t help but laugh. Liam Neeson allows them to do something to him for the sake of a joke that I will never look at him the same way again. The true gem of this movie is all the little references it makes including a Doc Brown visit as well as cameos by Ryan Renolds, Gilbert Godfried, Ewan McGregor that last all of 10 seconds each but are great for that always fun game of “hey that was X”.
Overall, the movie was decent, it was funny and had lots of little funny moments that keep me thinking back and chuckling. While the plot was standard predictable, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. The pacing overall though was incredibly poor, and if not for some of the actors, this would have continued to skid on it’s face. Overall though, I would recommend this as a redbox movie to watch in a large group, probably some alcohol involved.
Million Ways to Die in the West 3:6 (Average, nothing really special)