On the Silver Screen – A Million Ways to Die in the West

Jun 9, 2014 | Posted by in Movies

Seth MacFarlane’s follow-up to Ted is here and the end result leaves a lot to be desired. This won’t be all that long as reviews go as there’s not an awful lot to really say about this.

It’s hard to pinpoint a plot for this because there really isn’t one. Seth MacFarlane plays a sheep farmer named Albert Stark who wants to win back the heart of his ex girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) but faces complications when she enters into a relationship with the owner of the local Moustachery -according to this film, that’s a thing- Foy (Neil Patrick Harris). Through trying to win her back Albert becomes close with Anna (Charlize Theron) who happens to be the wife of a dangerous outlaw named Clinch (Liam Neeson).

If that seems like a weak plot that’s because it is but as is common in MacFarlane stuff the plot is almost entirely beside the point. The gags are what are supposed to carry this movie but unfortunately they’re not all that good for the most part. I did get some genuine laughs out of various situations like comments about Amanda Seyfried’s massive eyes or comparisons to what life in the Wild West might really have been like but there’s not enough laughs to carry this entire film.

The characters are barely one dimensional as well. I can’t tell you anything about MacFarlane’s Albert other than the fact that he’s a “nice guy” but that’s only because the film keeps telling that to the audience, personally I thought he was kind of a jackass. As far as leading men go Seth MacFarlane is awful, his talents are much better suited to vocal work. When he’s playing a character he has a complete lack of screen presence.

As for the rest of the characters I can’t think of a single thing that makes them in any way unique. In particular the comedic talents of Neil Patrick Harris are completely wasted here, if he had something more to work with then there could have been some really hilarious moments. As for Liam Neeson, a line from the Ted introduced trailer seems appropriate -“does he know he’s in this movie?” I’m genuinely not sure.

To conclude, this film was an overlong, unfunny mess that I probably would have needed some sort of lobotomy to enjoy. The jokes were as puerile as those awful parody movies along the lines of Scary Movie and the film itself was about as stupid. I know Seth MacFarlane is capable of writing funnier stuff because I’ve seen it but has he just lost his touch completely?