“A Million Ways to Die in The West” Review


 

 

The average summer comedy this year takes place in the wild west. And the witty cowboy actor is Seth MacFarlane. MacFarlane is the director and co-writer of this film about a cowboy with no sense to win the girl of his dreams through challenges of the ridiculous wild west. After the film “Ted” there really is no comparison, besides the humor, given that the plot line is the complete opposite.

The credits open being cowboy themed and the narrating goes towards how this version of the wild west is messed up. Here is Albert (MacFarlane), a sissy farmer, that cannot stand his grounds at all.

For Albert, all he wants is to be a man in his life. Towards the beginning his girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) dumps him. Albert is obviously not mature enough to handle a break-up situation. He just drinks a bunch of alcohol and gets on his horse drunk which leaves him to be very uncoordinated throughout the movie.

Albert meets Anna (Charlize Theron), the wife of a robber named Clinch (Liam Neeson). Anna is basically forced by her will to do what Clinch expects her to. He expects her to rob, steal, and kill. They both separate on different tides of Arizona (where the whole film takes place) and that is where her fun with Albert begins.

Albert realizes that Louise dating the high-class man of town Foy (Neil Patrick Harris), a man with a trademark mustache and owns his own shop for shaving products. For Albert, he just cannot stand how Louise finds Foy so perfect, so he dares Foy to a gun fight. This is enhances the performance for both MacFarlane and Theron, because their friendship begins to expand as Theron’s character teaches him how to shoot properly to win.

What I found funny about “A Million Ways to Die in The West” was how MacFarlane can incorporate society problems of the time period, and have them play a role into being the funny in the film. For example, a mayor is shot in their city and no one has done anything for three days until all of a sudden wolves come and drag him to their territory. There is a fair and every year people die at the fair. Another funny portion is the fact that people are even afraid to smile in photographs. I will not give away the reason why people are afraid to smile, because that would just spoil how it is funny in the context of MacFarlane’s screenplay.

About the film though, it was trying too hard at moments with its dialogue intended to be funny. What I mean by that is some of the conversations were going longer than they needed to. Also MacFarlane talks fast and is funny but sometimes he was just talking so fast whereI could not capture every moments of the funny. He is a funny writer with clever ideas, just needs to watch his timing more with how to be funny. It is like the formula of a stand-up comedian, which is joke, pause, and finally…the punchline! The punchline was not what I always got of the screenplay that was filled with jokes.

I will just say do not expect there to be very much similarity to a film like “Ted.” This is not a film about a teddy bear or friendship, it is about making fun of the wild west, and quirky violence to leave fans laughing.

Two stars.Image

 

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