You see, on the Western Frontier of 1882, there were many things that could kill you…or if you’re Seth MacFarlane, one million ways. The later being the title for the Ted director’s latest movie, A Million Ways to Die in the West.
The story follows Albert Stark, played by MacFarlane, a simple man who loves his lady and only wants to survive each day. What he doesn’t want to do is be in danger of being killed by any of the seemingly million things that can kill you in the West, and that includes gunfights. Most people growing up in the frontier learned to cope with the hard and dangerous lifestyle the lived in, but not Albert. He only wanted to see tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Any way he could get out of seemingly hazardous situations he would try. It’s a good thing he’s good at making jokes because out there, life just ain’t funny.
This movie opened the same weekend as Maleficent, falling right after X-Men: Days of Future Past and just before Edge of Tomorrow. The initial reactions to the film were a bit weak, and while it could be due to the high expectations of films all around it, it could also be because of the credentials of the cast. MacFarlane himself has been a part of many highly rated ventures, most notably Family Guy and the previously mentioned Ted. Along side him this time are Charlize Theron, who needs no introduction, and Neil Patrick…wait for it…Harris. Amanda Seyfried and Liam Neesen add to the notoriety. What they really don’t do is help produce a grand slam.
What the film relies on, it does pretty well, making you laugh. How it does it may not be something that is for all viewers. The film’s R rating should be a giveaway that there will be a great deal of toilet humor and sexual jokes. What it doesn’t tell you about are the shock jokes that may catch you by surprise. Mix in a musical number or so and you’ll have something close to an icon in the western comedy genre. No, this is no Blazing Saddles, but it does make itself the 21st century version – ruder, cruder and more in your face.
Add in a surprise cameo by a few other notable celebs and you do have a decent way to spend a few hours with the guys or having adult time away from the kids. When you’re tired of over the top action or just need something that doesn’t challenge the way you thought about your childhood, this is definitely where you should be…now where’s my mustache wax.