Director: Seth MacFarlane
Runtime: 116 minutes
Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Neil Patrick Harris, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman
Description: As cowardly farmer Albert (Seth MacFarlane) begins to fall for the mysterious new woman Anna (Charlize Theron) in town, he must put his new-found courage to the test when her husband (Liam Neeson), a notorious gun-slinger, announces his arrival.
Review: The authentic letters and music of the opening credits tell us immediately that “A Million Ways to Die in the West” is a western. Director Seth MacFarlane obviously likes the genre and gives it his own twist. He mixes up western with the genre he knows best: comedy. It gives us some great jokes, but also some mediocre ones centered around farts, sex and poop.
The wild west of 1882 isn’t without danger, that’s what somewhat clumsy sheepherder Albert Stark knows. Decease, rivalry, Indians, all possible causes of death. When Albert is then also stood up by his girlfriend Louise, his life as a frontier is over. Until he meets Anna, a mysterious woman who makes Albert win back his courage and confidence. But what he doesn’t know is that Anna is married to the most vicious gunslinger of the west.
The plot isn’t that surprising and it kicks in a lot of open doors. But it’s more about the humor here. “A Million Ways to Die” succeeds, but not entirely. The jokes where they are mocking the genre are the best, which makes it a bit like a parody. This works. And MacFarlane also knows how to set the audience in the opposite direction, which makes it surprising at times. The actors are seemingly having a great time. But sometimes the jokes are a bit juvenile or badly timed.
Seth MacFarlane is still one of the funniest guys out there, but he still has a lot to learn as an actor and director. “A Million Ways in the West” wasn’t as hilarious as I hoped it would be, but it had some great jokes, an amazing cameo and I really enjoyed this western parody.
Rating: 3/ 5