Thursday, May 29, 2014
REVIEW: A Million Ways To Die In The West
A Million Ways To Die
In The West
May 30, 2014
1 hour 56 minutes
As some of you might remember, I was kind of let down with Seth MacFarlane's 2012 directorial debut "Ted." While I found the film to be funny, and even found more enjoyment in it upon multiple viewings, there were still problems I had with the film, and I felt that friends of mine overhyped it too much at the time. When it comes to his latest directorial feature "A Million Ways To Die In The West," I have to say I was pretty excited to see it. Not just because of the cast, but also because the idea of MaFarlane's crude, raunchy "Family Guy-esque" humor sounded hilarious to me. And sure enough, I got exactly what I wanted from this film, and more. Some of the humor might have been juvenile, and some jokes might have been predictable, but I couldn't help but laugh so hard during almost every single bit of humor that this movie presented. I haven't laughed this hard in any other 2014 release all year so far, and that's saying something considering that there have been a good amount of funny films that have come out already.
I think the biggest surprise that came out of this movie for me was how great Seth MacFarlane was as a leading man. Though he's not doing any special voices or is playing a character like a talking teddy bear or a fat, Boston-accented family man, MacFarlane shows here that he, by himself, can be likable and even sort of relatable. The way I saw him is the way I see any person from 2014 growing up in the Old West, meaning that we would point out all of the craziness and grotesque nature of the time period. We probably wouldn't have had as much fun or would have been as funny as MacFarlane in the situation, but I digress. Some may be sad that he's not playing anyone with a funny voice, but me personally I thought it was nice to finally meet Seth MacFarlane the actor, and not Seth MacFarlane the voice man.
Charlize Theron seemed to be having a lot of fun with her performance here. The chemistry between her and MacFarlane is so sweet and genuine, you could almost believe that they've been friends for a much longer time before the idea for this film was even thought of. Not only did she manage to be very funny, but she also managed to be kind of a badass. Giovanni Ribisi and Sarah Silverman also deliver plenty of laughs playing a couple where the lady of the group is a prostitute saving herself for marriage. That is just hilarious in itself. Unfortunately, the two actors who are underused here are Liam Nesson and Amanda Seyfried.
Seyfried is literally just here to play the ditsy damsel that is the original eye to MacFarlane's affections. Even with her scenes with Neil Patrick Harris, who's very funny in here as well by the way, she doesn't really have that much to do, and is sort of just there to keep the love story going. As for Liam Nesson, he has more of a presence here as the film's villain, but he isn't given really anything that allows him to be funny. Rather, Nesson is just the gruff, cold, villainous villain we've seen in almost every Western out there. He's fine in the movie, but I just wish that MacFarlane and his co-screenwriters let him be, well, funny. Regardless of these two, there's nothing much I had wrong with the movie.
"A Million Ways To Die In The West" most likely will not appeal to most adults thanks to its sexual humor, as well as the feeling of this being a 2 hour long "Family Guy" episode. Teenagers like myself, however, I think will have a ball with this. There are more juvenile and dumb jokes than there are clever and intelligent jokes, but I honestly couldn't have cared less. I couldn't stop laughing from start to finish, and I honestly have no shame in saying that. This is one of those movies where, like 2012's "That's My Boy," I can acknowledge the dumb nature that this movie possesses, but can still be happy to say that I'd be willing to revisit this movie in the future. It might not be as smart or as clever as "Neighbors" or "The Grand Budapest Hotel," but I laughed so much more in this movie than I did in those two combined. "A Million Ways To Die In The West" is one of those absent-minded, absurd, and shocking comedies that I can't wait to revisit both in the theaters with my friends and in the comfort of my own home. And I'm definitely in the minority when I say that I thought this movie was leagues better than "Ted."