A Million Ways To Die In The West Review

A Million Ways To Die In The West

There may be One Million Ways To Die In The West, but as Seth MacFarlane’s new film proves, there are almost as many ways to die on the big screen.

Albert is a sheep farmer in some dumb, redneck cowboy town circa 1880 something.

And he’s not a particularly good farmer at that, as his far too frequently roof dwelling sheep will no doubt attest to.

To make matters worse, Albert’s something of a coward, which don’t go down too well in these macho cowboy times.

You see Albert’s terrified of being killed, so he’s always talking his way out of potentially lethal situations that come his way.

But he is engaged to the prettiest girl in town, even though he can’t afford to grow a moustache, so Albert must be doing something right.

Of course, she soon gets tired of his cowardly ways and moves onto someone richer and more hirsute than our less than heroic Albert.

Now this sheep farmer no longer cares so much whether he lives in dies, even when an even prettier filly sidles into town and inexplicably attaches her wagon to his sheep-shaped star.

Will Albert open his eyes and realise what’s in front of him, or is he so dumb that he spends the next hour and a half going through the motions of some tired and predictable cinematic journey that even a dumb ass cowboy could have worked out in under three minutes?

One Million Ways To Die In The West is co-written by Seth MacFarlane.

And directed by Seth MacFarlane.

And produced by Seth MacFarlane.

And, alas, also stars Seth MacFarlane.

Now I’m actually a fan of the man who dodged a 9/11 shaped bullet.

The first five seasons of family guy and Ted are more than most folk have in their credit column.

But, as so often seems to be the way, the success MacFarlane’s created for himself has fed his ego so much that he now thinks he can play the lead in a film.

He can’t.

Sure, he could voice the lead in some animated feature, but that’s really not the same thing.

Unfortunately, it seems no one in Seth’s circle had the balls to tell him this, and the result is a hit and miss comedy about the wild west that could and should have been a lot better than it is.

There’ll be parts where you laugh out loud, but these quickly fade out after the first half hour as MacFarlane proceeds to trot out predictable jokes and a three act narrative arc that couldn’t be more clichéd.

Hell, he even crowbars Giovanni Ribisi to do that weird dance of his that you laughed at in Ted.

You might even laugh at it again, but that’s the level of inspiration MacFarlane’s working with here.

And for someone who’s meant to be smart, his Albert character is incredibly dumb.

He spends half the film moaning and whining about his ex, mostly to a girl who’s just as hot and also has a thing for guy’s who look like they’ve just taken off their glasses after wearing them constantly for the last seven years.

One Million Ways To Die In The West isn’t even a terrible film, it’s a terrible Seth MacFarlane vanity project.

And I hope it dies painfully in the box office.

It may be the only way to wake MacFarlane up and get him back behind the camera where he belongs.

Jonathan Campbell

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May 2014
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