A blog by:Thomas Williamson Domol
“Out here, everything that’s not you, wants to kill you”- Seth MacFarlane as Albert in A Million Ways to Die in The West
Okay, so I’ll start off this review with a minor disclaimer: If you do not find the comedy of Seth MacFarlane very, shall we say, comedic, then you will in no way enjoy this film. You just won’t. Not exactly a spoiler as I feel this is the case with any comedy, which is a very subjective art form.
Well, I do enjoy his humor, and I did enjoy this film for the most part. By now we know that MacFarlane brings a style all his own to his comedies, as we have seen throughout the years on shows like Family Guy, American Dad, and his 2012 smash hit, Ted, starring Mila Kunis
This film is an homage to old Western classics like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, and, what most feel is the real source of inspiration, Blazing Saddles. MacFarlane is certainly no Mel Brooks, nor is he Gene Wilder, and when I think about it, there is a laundry list of things about this film I should despise, like the fact that it stars the painfully overrated Sarah Silverman. Stick to Comedy Central Roasts, Sarah, in fact, just sit in the audience.
But there is an even longer list of smile inducing elements to the film that had me captivated. For one, the writing is brilliant , especially in the one musical number featuring Neil Patrick Harris, and really Seth’s talents as a music writer are nothing short of stunning, his been turning out catchy tunes for years on Family Guy, and it’s anyone’s guess why he has not taken to Broadway yet.
The lovely and wonderful Charlize Theron turns in a great performance as Albert’s main love interest, and also brings the credibility to the film, along with Liam Neeson, as the reason why this film is able to get away with some moments of not so high brow comedy. There is one scene in particular where a cowboy hat is repurposed for something else… And I’ll just leave it at that. The jokes frequent, fast-paced, and as always, when it comes to the auteur of the film, laced with hidden meaning and pop culture references. Which I like, it’s cool to be meta.
The structure of the film could be better, a lot of times it will feel as if you’re watching a collection of skits on television, and not a cohesive movie playing out frame by frame, this is unlike, say Ted, but Ted wasn’t a good movie. A Million Ways is a good movie, and if your local pool is too crowded, or you just don’t feel like going to Coldstone to spend just as much on ice cream as you would on a movie ticket, (provided you don’t live in New York or L.A.), then see this film
Until next time…