Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Running Time: 116 mins
A Million Ways To Die In The West is an American film about a nerdish and cowardly sheep farmer in the Wild West who finds new courage when the wife of a notorious gun-slinger comes to town, which he puts to use in defending the town from the bandit.
Well, this film is all about Seth MacFarlane, and he’s someone who I’ve had a bit of a love-hate thing for. I’ve always hated Family Guy with a vengeance, while I absolutely loved Ted, even though it’s been suggested to me that they’re effectively the same thing.
This, however, falls right in the middle of these two. It’s by no means any good, and its comedic value is above everything else absolutely appalling, however it’s got surprisingly strong performances and a shockingly entertaining story that managed to prevent this from becoming a complete and utter disaster.
Let’s start with the comedy though. In my opinion, Family Guy is just random, unintelligent and immature. Ted, on the other hand, while also having some of those characteristics, was also a bit satirical, imaginative and comprehensible. This film does focus mainly on the Family Guy-ish end of the comedy spectrum, meaning that I was in for a treat sitting through what is two hours of toilet jokes.
Actually, it’s not only toilet jokes, but that’s the main part. Oddly, there’s also a bit of satire in it, but the only problem is that it’s all circa-2014 satire, and being set in the late 19th-Century Wild West, it feels really odd to see it, and more often than not, it falls flat on its face.
So, the main conclusion about the comedy in this ‘comedy’ is that there are very few laughs. I probably laughed a maximum of three times throughout the whole duration (which I should say is far too long and incredibly tiring to watch), so it’s simply just not funny.
However, amazingly, this film has some really strong points. A decent cast including Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson and Amanda Seyfried is a big help (although Seth MacFarlane is absolutely terrible), but the most surprising thing about it is the story.
The first period of the film is just about the joke that everything in the West is trying to kill you, which doesn’t work at all, but once some tension turns up in the form of some other characters, it actually gets interesting and entertaining to watch, not because it’s funny, but because it’s genuinely decent.
Overall, then, this gets a 5.9, because although it was horrifically unfunny and annoyingly immature, a surprisingly strong plot and cast saved this film, which suggests that if it weren’t a comedy, it could have been alright.