A Million Ways to Die in the West – Review
This is cheeky chap Seth MacFarlane’s second major movie, following his first comedy Ted which came out in 2012. I watched A Million Ways to Die in the West over the weekend (whilst the rest of the world was watching a little movie by Chris Nolan?) and though I had no major preconceptions about the film – which I assumed would be light hearted fun – there really is hardly anything to say other than…….it was alright.
Unfortunately the mediocre term ‘alright’ is really the best way to describe this movie which is in no way horrible but at the same time, continually misses the mark for gut wrenching laughter.
The story follows Albert (Seth MacFarlane) who is a nice, amicable and quite witty guy – if whingey at times – as he tries to win back ex-girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) by most popular western method – a gun dual. Friends, acquaintances, bandits, flirting, sheep and other shenanigans make up the rest of the TWO HOUR film.
What’s right with it? Well it’s a nice enough premise and the characters are, on the whole quite likable. There’s a decent array of actors and actresses to hold the show and Neil Patrick Harris in particular was pretty funny (even if my boyfriend did think he was ‘that bloke off Pointless’ – actually funnier than ANYTHING that happened in the movie).
There are (kinda) amusing references to other movies, attractive ladies to admire, celebrity cameos to spot (Ryan Reynolds – standard) and luckily, hardly any musical numbers at all (and the one they did do was pretty funny). BUT what’s wrong with it? Well the movie was definitely too long at just four minutes shy of two hours. I’m obsessed with film durations anyway but seriously guys. Way too long.
And whilst a lot of negativity has been put on the quality of jokes – which many viewers either found too immature or, rather surprisingly, too racist – I just thought they weren’t that funny. Obviously it was immature in places, this is Seth MacFarlane we’re talking about (haven’t you seen Family Guy?) but they weren’t ALL toilet humour type gags, some of the script was witty and deadpan – kinda. I didn’t find any of the jokes racist either but I guess it’s how low (or high) your tolerance button is. To be hones the whole thing was just a bit sketchy, from the start. The kind of movie you’re willing to finish sooner rather than later, even though it’s getting the occasional laugh and smile out of you.
I would (kinda) recommend this movie as a one-time-watch if you’re a fan of Seth MacFarlane or just having some friends over for a movie night. There’s enough in it to keep you relatively entertained – even spotting the celebrity cameos is quite fun (Ryan Reynolds – standard) but don’t expect to see the comedy of the year – because a million ways to die in the west? One of them must surely be boredom.