Seth MacFarlane shoots and occasionally hits in A Million Ways to Die in the West.
Westerns have a bad rep in Hollywood because history has shown that the box-office hasn’t been too kind to the genre. Granted there is always the occasional exception to the rule but for the most part, westerns fail to connect with audiences. And this is why we think Seth MacFarlane is awfully brave to tackle the genre for his latest effort.
The Story: A Million Ways to Die in the West, sees MacFarlane bring his brand of comedy to the wild frontier As he portrays a hapless sheep farmer named Albert. Living in a sleepy town called Stump, Albert is the proverbial town loser, who after getting dumped by his girlfriend, decides to pack up and leave for good.
His plans however take a turn when he encounters Anna (Charlize Theron), the new girl in town and a friendship blossoms. Anna slowly helps Albert overcome his fears and eventually the two fall for each other, but unbeknownst to Albert, Anna is in fact the wife of Clinch (Liam Neeson), a notorious gunslinger with an appetite for violence.
What Worked: MacFarlane’s brand of contemporary comedy transplanted into the western setting. Although it does feel weird at times, somehow or rather the director, writer and star (he wears many hats in this one), manages to make it work.
What Didn’t: MacFarlane’s brand of comedy, which occasionally comes off being meant solely for an American audience (read: drug/ getting stoned related humour, American-centric jibes and stereotypes).
Plus Points: The familiar faces and cameos that show up throughout the movie, which would require a second take to spot them all.
Minus Points: The occasional barrage of jokes that will quite literally fly over your head.
Conclusion: A Million Ways to Die in the West has just enough going for it to warrant a viewing. But all the same, check your brain at the door to fully enjoy this one.