A Million Ways to Die in the West(2014)
Family Guy creator (and Ted director) Seth MacFarlane writes, directs and stars as a cowardly sheep herder turned gunslinger in this old West comedy. Co-stars Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Neil Patrick Harris and Liam Neeson.
After Albert (McFarlane) backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman rides into town, her love helps Albert find his courage. Soon though, her husband - a notorious outlaw - arrives seeking revenge and Albert must put his newfound balls on the line.
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BY Dominic Corry Flicks Writer
Judd Apatow's films are cited for off-setting their low-brow stylings with a tangible sweetness. Seth McFarlane is Apatow's artistic complement – the Family Guy/American Dad creator's comedy empire is defined by a healthy mean streak. That mean streak helps mark his new film away from other Western comedies, but can't make up for the overall scarcity of sustained laughs.... More
Having parlayed the success of Ted into his first major on-screen acting role, McFarlane proves an affable-enough presence, if a little ranty. Stopping just short of directly addressing the camera, he spends a lot of the film loudly describing events around him. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's okay in and of itself that all the humour is snappily anachronistic, but the style conflicts with the film's attempts to have genuine stakes as both a thriller and a romance.
Liam Neeson's bad guy is played entirely straight, and McFarlane's courting of Charlize Theron occasionally plays with the gag-inducing coyness of a Katherine Heigl rom-com. There are some decent laughs here though, even if they all hover around the same three or so ideas (violent death; prostitution; moustaches). Neil Patrick Harris brings a lot to the table, and Sarah Silverman and Giovanni Ribisi are both appealing, if one-note.
Between the comedic set-pieces – I would say about 50% of which are successful (I hearby declare poo off limits in cinematic comedy for at least ten years) – it can get pretty ponderous.Hide
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A Million Ways to Die in the West
BY Amanda-Bateman lister
Thank you to Flicks for the free tickets. I'm so glad I didn't pay to see this film. The only funny scenes are in the trailer - every other gag is centred on farts, diarrhea or prostitutes. Charlize Theron tries her best but is given terrible lines. Someone needs to tell Seth Macfarlane that he's not as funny as thinks he is. Anyone who wants to see a well written, funny, rude western should watch Deadwood.
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