You’re right, I really don’t review straight up comedies all that much. Humor is very subjective and something I might find hilarious, someone else might find incredibly stupid. However, this movie has “die” in the title and I got to go to an early screening and I’d feel like a dick for going to see it without talking about it. I didn’t watch Family Guy until after it had been canceled. When I watched it in college, I thought it was great. That was ten years ago. Wait, college was ten years ago? Shit. Since then, I’ve never really been interested in anything Seth MacFarlane has done. The new episodes of Family Guy didn’t spark my interest, his directorial film debut Ted didn’t interest me, and I wasn’t too impressed with his hosting gig at the Oscars. I went into A Million Ways to Die in the West with a relatively open mind but low expectations, and the film somehow didn’t even meet those expectations. But if you like poop and pee jokes, I’m sure you’ll love it!
See what’s funny is that in the Old West, people dressed funny! Hahahahaha!
After grand, sweeping shots of the beautiful Western frontier, a voice-over talks about the idea of people living in a time that’s not best suited for them. That’s when Albert (MacFarlane) comes running into a shootout and avoids confrontation by making dick jokes. Avoiding this confrontation results in his girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) leaving him to be with the owner of the local “Moustachery”, played by Neil Patrick Harris. Albert then meets Anna (Charlize Theron), who’s laying low in town while her outlaw husband is trying to lay low. Being the wife of an outlaw lends itself to a certain set of skills, all of these skills being helpful when it comes to defending Albert’s honor so he can win back Louise. Surprisingly, through the time Albert spends with Anna, he realizes it’s her that he loves and he must instead stand up to an outlaw to prove his love. Wow, this plot is way dumber now that I actually write it out. There’s also a bunch of poop and pee jokes,
See what’s funny is that his mustache is important to him and he gets horny when people touch it! Hahahahahaha!
Despite not generally being a fan of MacFarlane, there were some things about A Million Ways that I really, really enjoyed. Being a fan of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and The Proposition, the “Old West” has always looked awful to me. Some Westerns give you this romantic notion of what that point in time was like, but I’ve always viewed it as a terrible time to be alive where you could die from virtually anything. There were a lot of really funny bits that addressed this, generally by Albert, a character I found to be conceptually interesting. I mentioned the voice-over talking about characters being out of time, and when it’s so common for people in 2014 to glamorize different time periods they wish they could go back to and how things were so “simple”, Albert was a character much better suited to live in the future. I also quite enjoyed Giovanna Ribisi‘s performance as Albert’s best friend, who was a much more simple character without displaying any stupidity.
See what’s funny is…oh, you can’t see, but she has cum on the other side of her face! Hahahahahaha! FUNNY!!!
Please do not confuse any praise I give this film for me saying it was a good movie by any stretch of the imagination. MacFarlane almost seems desperate for people to like him, so casting himself as the heroic lead made me get even more annoyed at him. This also means that most of the jokes that his character delivered, which were obviously written for him to come across as charming, fell flat. As I said earlier, there were some very witty, clever jokes about life being awful in the Old West, but those jokes were suffocated in an onslaught of dick/piss/shit/fart/cum jokes that I would cringe in anticipation of any joke only to be sometimes relieved when it wasn’t crass. Can you believe that MacFarlane cast Sarah Silverman as a prostitute?! Quite a way to cast against type! Liam Neeson is in a few scenes, playing Anna’s outlaw wife, and at one point has a flower stuck up his butt. What a great movie! There are a few other random, nonsensical cameos that seem to only exist so that MacFarlane comes across as having friends. Most notably, Christopher Lloyd pops up working on the Back to the Future time machine, and then disappears. HE DOESN’T EVEN MAKE ANY JOKES. IT’S JUST LIKE, “HEY, THIS MOVIE IS THE OLD WEST, LET’S MAKE A BACK TO THE FUTURE III REFERENCE! WHO CARES IF IT LITTLE MORE THAN A SIGHT GAG?!” Oh! I forgot to mention that you also get to see a few sheep dicks. Real subtle stuff, MacFarlane. Can we just go back and change the title to add “American Pie presents” in front of it?
Wolfman Moon Scale