MOVIE REVIEW - A Million Ways To Die In The West

on 31 May 2014.

Sometimes a comedy comes around with high hopes, and tons of hype that ultimately falls short. That is the new Seth MacFarland comedy.

MacFarland is s creative, talented and funny guy with a most original brand of humor.  He is basically easy to like on screen, and in this piece surrounds himself with good people. This should be a really funny movie, but this does have a bunch of problems.

This movie cannot decide what kind of movie it wants to be.  First off, this is a heavy parody on the classic westerns from the 1960's especially.  And that aspect of this works exceedingly well. Complete with a fun and fresh Copeland inspired western them and soundtrack it does take you back to those days.  There is a bunch within this movie that works well along that line, but sadly that won't be enough for some to carry the day.

Because in the same movie, it is also decided that it wants to be a poop, and pee joke fest.  It also wants to openly and obsessively talk about male, and especially female body parts and how to use them. Both human and animal.  And sadly that will be too much for some, and for others who could care less or even notice the creative underlying parody, there won't be near enough of the above.  In short, it tries to be all things to all peeps, and that generally does not work out.  That was the success of Ted from MacFarland.  It was raunchy edgy and tasteless and that was it's undying theme.  And for those who went, they loved it.  For them, it didn't get watered down with parody and creativity.

This movie also has a ton, and I mean a ton of jokes and gags that fall embarrassingly flat on the ground that were designed for big laughs and got none.   If I may suggest that MacFarland's ego gets in the way time after time. And less of him might ultimately be more.  There are more than a few moments where he ends up horribly embarrassing himself, when it would have been on the cutting room floor. Trouble is, when he writes it, directs it, and produces it, no one is going to tell him there are 15-20 minutes of this where he is amazingly NOT funny - and supposed to be.

This also stars Charlize Theron, Neil Patrick Harris, Giovanni Ribisi, and Sarah Silverman.  Plus, Liam Neeson is very funny as the evil gunslinger Clinch Leatherwood.   It's fun to see him do comedy, and he works in this movie well. But overall, there is just too much to overcome here to be really good.  It's good to see Theron on the screen again, as she is generally likable. But I can't help but wonder if Harris and Silverman read the script all the way through before signing on.  Much of what they are asked to do is simply tasteless over and over again.

A Million Ways To Die In The West.   There won't be near enough raunchy stuff for true MacFarland fans. And too much for the casual fan.  Needs a clearer direction.

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