What’s It About? Comedy king Seth MacFarlane writes and directs A Million Ways to Die in the West – a western romp set in the 1880s. Dumped by his lover, emasculated and humiliated after avoiding a pistol duel, Albert Stark (Seth MacFarlane) sets his sights on the town’s latest squeeze (Charlize Theron), only to find out she’s the wife of notorious bandit Clinch (Liam Neeson)
Verdict: A Million Ways to Die in the West refuses to skirt around foolish, toilet humour jokes – and the randomness is often wrought with similarities to the humour found in Family Guy. There isn’t much of a storyline – Albert, reeling from his lover’s rejection (Amanda Seyfried), hits rock bottom, lashing out at the idiocy and dangers of 1880s Arizona where even the bar ice will kill you. Out of place in the Wild West, Albert provokes snorts from the audience in his satire of the period – the incumbent mayor’s a rotting corpse and the town’s most eligible bachelor (Neil Patrick Harris) prides himself on a bizarre moustache.
Taking the film with a steal is Charlize Theron, charging a new lease of life into depressed Albert, who, for too long, licks his wounds. But the stellar cast falls on its chin for the most part – Amanda Seyfried’s performance causes one to muster yawns and Liam Neeson’s character is disappointingly beige. A few of the funniest sections are led by Sarah Silverman, a devoutly religious prostitute who rebuffs sex with her fiancée Giovanni Ribisi until after marriage, much to his infuriation.
MacFarlane supplies an acceptable performance in the leading role –sarcastic, witty and charismatic, the character Albert consistently causing the audience to erupt in laughter. Whilst A Million Ways to Die In The Wild West falls short of the comedic glory of Ted, the picture provides harmless enjoyment that spans a watchable two hours. Albert’s critique of the 19th century is, without question, entertaining – and the disenchanted protagonist expertly satires the antiquated Western world. The jokes are disgusting, graphic and for the correct audience – cough cough – absolutely gut busting. But, unfortunately MacFarlane’s humour is not for everyone – raunchy jokes and the sight of Foy (Harris) crapping in a hat can turn the most hardened of stomachs a little queasy.
Final Words: MacFarlane and Theron roam the town scorning old-fashioned photographs, and the bizarre fashion tastes, while the remaining cast often conform to stereotypes with poker faces. You’ll laugh out loud and enjoy the cinephile references to western genre, but probably won’t watch it again.
A Million Ways To Die In The West is out in UK cinemas now.