Customer Review

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sporadically Funny, 27 Jun. 2014
This review is from: A Million Ways to Die in the West [DVD] (DVD)
'A Million Ways to Die in the West' is a western-comedy film helmed by Seth MacFarlane (directing, producing, writing and starring.) The film features an accomplished ensemble cast including Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, and Liam Neeson The film is MacFarlane's second attempt at directing a live- action film, following the release of Ted in 2012.

The film focuses on the cowardly sheep farmer Albert Stark (MacFarlane) who attempts to survive in the extraordinarily treacherous 1880s Wild West, whilst trying to win back the affection of his estranged girlfriend (Seyfried).

The film is intermittently funny - more often than not during sequences void of Albert's presence. Unlike Mark Walberg in Ted, MacFarlane's performance appears tiresome, and his sporadic instances of genuine humour are few and far between. This regrettably means that he generally struggles to maintain interest and generate empathy.

Counteracting this though are strong performances from the rest of the billing, but from Theron in particular, who breathes life and energy into every sequence she's in. The film's narrative in itself is so simplistic and predictable that these performances are really the fundamental factor which contributes to the majority of the enjoyment of the film.

The film's pacing comes off as nonchalant and mis-judged, as the film jumps from sequences of intense gross-out humour, to unnecessarily lengthy expositional sequences which essentially act as a narrative bridge to allow MacFarlane to attempt to create some substance behind the amalgamation of toilet humour.

Despite MacFarlane's evident knowledge of the western genre and its conventions, it appears that he struggled to pinpoint the exact purpose of this film. It seems as if 'A Million Way to Die in the West' is the mutual ground between the two films MacFarlane wanted to make: a simplistic and traditional heartfelt drama set in the west, and an over the top gross out slapstick-filled comedy with cowboys. Ultimately this indecision leaves the film feeling almost purposeless, with many minutes spent just waiting for the next inevitable punchline.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Jul 2014 10:25:49 BDT
Robster says:
superb review.
Couldn't have put it better myself.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jul 2014 12:47:06 BDT
Josh Murphy says:
Thank you for the kind words.
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