A Million Ways To Die In The West (Film Review)

By Ryan Milowicki

As the preeminent farce comedian and satirist in America today, Seth MacFarlane has expanded his realm off of the television screen and into movie theaters.

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With the surprising amount of success that Ted had in the summer of 2012, it makes sense that MacFarlane tries his hand on the big screen again this year with a parody of the western genre. After all, Mel Brooks (the premier satirist of Hollywood’s previous generations) use this as a template for Blazing Saddles, perhaps his most beloved work.

Unfortunately for MacFarlane, A Million Ways To Die In The West lacks consistent humor, and often devolves into long stretches of vulgarity and scatological gags. Combine that with a nearly 2-hour runtime, and you have a mediocre-paced comedy with fewer laughs than expected. The star-studded cast and host of cameos are not enough to mop up the disappointing end product.

Set in Arizona in the 1880s, the meek sheep farmer Stark (MacFarlane) deals with the heartbreak of being dumped by his girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) while trying to survive what he calls “the worst time and place in history.” A gorgeous gunslinger (Charlize Theron) changes Stark and tries to grant him the courage and strength to square off against her estranged husband (Liam Neeson), the most ruthless gunfighter in the West.

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