I counted 15. Not a million.
A Million Ways to Die in the West follows Albert Stark (Seth MacFarlane), a cowardly sheep farmer who hates the period of American history he was born into. Just as Albert begins to consider leaving Old Stump for one of the big cities, Clinch Leatherwood (the meanest gunfighter in the territory) sends his wife (Charlize Theron) to Old Stump to hide out… unbeknownst that she may find a friend in the cowardly sheep farmer.
Like many great old westerns, A Million Ways to Die in the West has a very minimalist story. There is very little if nothing unique or deep in the story of A Million Ways to Die in the West. And the fact that it’s written by Peter Griffin doesn’t exactly help.
If you have seen either Family Guy or Ted, you probably should know that Seth MacFarlane isn’t aware of any limitations in terms of comedy tone. He will without hesitation offend anyone who crosses him (or is famous) and although he can’t really insult famous people in a period piece where they don’t exist, he still can write a script that is unapologetically violent and crude.
But if you can get past the crudeness and general Seth MacFarlane violence (especially when he got his hands on the western genre), A Million Ways to Die in the West is a really enjoyable film. The laughs aren’t exactly the most intelligently written and they do sometimes go on for a bit long but they are constant which means the film is constantly funny.
Seth MacFarlane is alright as the shy protagonist that he wrote for himself. It does feel though that Seth wrote the most likeable character on purpose so that he could play it himself. Charlize Theron is wonderful as always. Giovanni Ribisi and Sarah Silverman’s characters aren’t that well written, they do provide some laughs but not a lot and there could’ve been more story between them. And Liam Neeson is viciously Irish as the evil Clinch Leatherwood not providing many laughs but instead providing a solid villain.
A Million Ways to Die in the West does have a minimalist western story, an okay cast and a couple of other minor problems but it is a really enjoyable and funny comedy if you can handle Seth MacFarlane’s humour.
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