A Million Ways To Die In The West (2014) Review
Released : May 30th, 2014
Release Length : 116 Minutes
Seth MacFarlane has proven that he is a comedy genius with the likes of Family Guy, American Dad, and the film Ted. Does that streak continue though for his first live action leading role in a film he also wrote and directed though?
A Million Ways To Die In The West follows Albert, a cowardly sheep farmer who after losing his girlfriend to another man starts to hit hard times. That is until a mysterious woman soon moves into town and becomes Albert’s new best friend and eventually his newest crush. However when it turns out she is married to the baddest gunman in the territory Albert has to step up and put his new found courage to the test or else it could be the last thing he ever does.
The story here though doesn’t do what they were hoping. Unlike his previous film Ted which had a story that continually moved forward while being funny here we have one that just drags on to some degree. I have to say that this film being 2 hours long as well is insane. It goes on for way to long. I would say that scenes that have anything to do with the main story line is maybe at best half the movie or so. They do give us several side plots to go along with it as well as many random moments. Similar to his show Family Guy McFarland here seems to believe that adding in random moments makes it better. In a short cartoon though it does, however here in a full length live action film it doesn’t. So here we have many random cut off moments that don’t add much. A scene in particular where a character has a bad reaction to drugs adds nothing to the film and isn’t funny resulting in a several minute scene that goes on for too long. The same can be said for a song and dance number that while funny is just too long. You could take so many scenes from this film and cut them
You would hope though that if anything the film would be funny. You’d be mistaken though. During the two hours I found that I gave a small laugh only a handful of times and actually had a loud laugh at about 5 scenes if that. The humor is extremely vulgar and juvenile even for a film like this. Even with the times being set in the old west they use all modern terms in the dialog. While this can be funny to hear it still is odd for the rest of the film continuing to be set in the old west. The quick random hits of comedy don’t always add to anything either. So many scenes are dependent on their one liners working while most of them flop. Being blatantly raunchy for the sake of raunchy doesn’t work well in this case. Like I said before, just because in works in something short like Family Guy that doesn’t try to carry a big story with it doesn’t mean it will work here.
Cast wise this film has more people than one should take the time to name. Between the main cast, random pop ups, and guest spots there is someone in here that everyone will like. I will only focus on the main cast however with no spoilers. Seth MacFarlane though doesn’t always do his first leading role justice. I found it hard to take his character serious sometimes since he has such a pale clean look to him. Charlize Theron steals the show however. It’s good to see her in a role where she gets the chance to shine as a comedy actress. Amanda Seyfried continues to make me wonder what the appeal people find in her is. Liam Neeson plays the bad ass as usual. No surprise there at all. Award for most loveable yet incredible awkward on screen couple for the year will go to Giovanni Ribisi and Sarah Silverman for their protrayl of a prostitute with a virgin man who both hold strong Catholic value. Some scenes are theirs are downright cruel and uncomfortable.
Overall though A Million Ways To Die In The West may have a good cast but falls short in everything else. A bland story that goes on for too long, too many unfunny jokes, and just ultimately being uninteresting to watch means this isn’t the big hit they were hoping for like they had with Ted. I have no doubt however that Seth MacFarlane will be back in another film to try again though.