Monday, June 2, 2014

[Review] A Million Ways to Die in the West

Seth MacFarlane's Ted was insanely dumb, but it did have a number of uproarious moments and goofy setpieces. A Million Ways to Die in the West is in the same vein, but it's less entertaining, and the bad joke/good joke ratio is troubling. It's about what you'd expect if you've seen a later episode of Family Guy.

Albert (MacFarlane) is a misfit sheepherder, and he hates everything about the (Old) West. Everyone dies so easily. Aside from all the dying, a few other incidents occur early on. He gets dumped by his girlfriend (Amanda Seyfield), who shortly after gets picked up by a pretentious guy played by Neil Patrick Harris, Anna (Charlize Theron) becomes Seth's new love interest, and Liam Neeson rides into town with his gang to rile things up. It all feels aimless and stagnant for way too long, and it barely picks up.

Some bits work, some have parts that work, and some fail to land. Unfortunately, it's the latter that is most frequent and pronounced. A few scenes don't even seem to do anything, which becomes especially grating considering the two-hour runtime. What amounts is a hodgepodge of misfires with some decent sketch material in between. A lot of the humor is too flat, absurdly crude, or just too on-the-nose to be funny. The fart jokes actually redeem the film, but let's face it, fart jokes usually are funny--no matter the setting. This, along with the small shreds of clever parody, are just enough to keep A Million Ways to Die in the West from being a Razzie Award contender.


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