Monday, June 9, 2014

Movie review of A Million Ways to Die in the West (R) - review by Daniel Kilgallon

Run Time: 116 min

A Million Ways to Die in the West is a western comedy, written, directed and produced by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. This is the second live action film he has directed, following the 2012 comedy Ted, in which he voiced a talking teddy bear. Seth MacFarlane stars once more, as a human being, in A Million Ways to Die in the West alongside a supporting cast of: Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris and Giovanni Ribisi.  As a big fan of Family Guy and Ted, I was really looking forward to seeing this movie and had big expectations heading into the theater. A Million Ways to Die in the West surpassed my high hopes as I found it to be absolutely hilarious from start to finish.

Albert Stark (Seth MacFarlane) is a cowardly sheep farmer living in Arizona in the year 1882. Early on in the film, he ducks out of a gun fight with a cowboy and as a result, breaks up with the love of his life, Louise (Amanda Seyfried). Albert becomes quite depressed when he discovers that she left him for Foy, a wealthy man with a magnificent mustache. However, he soon befriends the mysterious gunslinger Anna (Charlize Theron) who helps him regain his confidence and find his true courage. Soon, Albert must put his newfound bravery to the test when Anna’s husband, the infamous outlaw Clinch Leatherwood (Liam Neeson) learns of their relationship and comes seeking revenge.

For better or worse, the controversial super-ego of Seth MacFarlane is clearly on full display in A Million Ways to Die in the West. This film’s story arc is powered by an endless string of his trademark random pop-culture references and irreverent jokes, as well as a few of MacFarlane’s signature extravagant musical numbers. It does all of this while serving as one giant parody of other classic western films. 

As I mentioned earlier, I am a huge fan of MacFarlane’s work, so I found this film to be completely hysterical the whole way through. The storyline is ridiculous, over-the-top and very predictable, but for me that only adds to the amusement. Some may find Seth MacFarlane’s distinct style of humor to be incredibly offensive, but if that doesn’t bother you go ahead and see A Million Ways to Die in the West. I can guarantee you some great laughs from this outrageously funny western.

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