Piece of shit!!! This movie is an absolute piece of shit! So let me just say before we get further into why this movie is an ungodly abomination of everything that is wrong with the movie world, that I have nothing against Seth McFarlane. I do not care a lot for his comedy. I thought Ted was an okay movie and I thought Family Guy was at least a watchable show for a little while. At least it could work as background noise while I was working on other more projects. But man combined with everything else that this man has done and his humor he is usually one that avoid at all costs. With that being said, when I heard of A Million Ways to Die in the West I thought I would give it a watch. In my mind, the worst that it could be was a spaghetti western version of Ted. Nothing great, but nothing that I would find annoying or distasteful… But man was I wrong. A Million Ways to Die in the West may be the worst thing to come along to the western genre since Michael Cimino killed it some thirty-four years ago.
A Million Ways to Die in the West is the story of Albert Stark (Seth McFarlane). He is a cowardly sheep farmer who loses his girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) after withdrawing from a duel. Realizing there is nothing left for him in the west, he decides to pack up and head for San Fransisco. Meanwhile, a famous bandit called… And I swear I am not joking on this one Clinch Leatherwood (Liam Neeson) robs a prospector and sends his man Lewis (Evan Jones) to protect his wife Anna (Charlize Theron) to lie low as he continues his bandit ways. Well of course these people meet up in town and the Seth McFarlane hijinks ensues.
McFarlane Can Recruit One Hell of a Cast
I will give McFarlane this, the man can certainly collect one hell of a cast to work on his various projects. With a cast list that includes Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Charlize Theron, Sarah Silverman, Neil Patrick Harris, and even Jaime Foxx to reprise his Django Unchained role, the guy can certainly get some A-List names. Granted he can find little for each of them to do besides reprise roles, play their various character roles, or be otherwise completely miscast. But props to the guy for putting people in front of the camera that we would actually like to see.
The Film’s Goals Seem To Miss the Mark
From what I have read about the film’s production is that Seth McFarlane enjoyed the westerns in his youth and wanted to create an homage to the western genre. I can understand that. Other directors like Quentin Tarantino had the same response. I am not one to say a more well-known director like Tarantino automatically gets to make an homage while the little guy gets chastised for doing the same thing. But if you are going to make an homage, at least make it look convincing.
This does not feel like an homage to western movies and it does not feel like a parody. It feels like a poorly thrown together movie that happens to have a western theme to it. What it feels like is an elongated episodes of one of his television shows and speaking of which…
It is Nothing More than an Extended Family Guy Episode
At the end of the day, what I really have to fault this movie for is for the simple fact that this movie does not feel like a western. It does not feel like an homage to the genre like a movie like Django Unchained did (I would not bring this up if it wasn’t for the fact that they make a direct reference to a much better movie!) This is not some love letter to the genre, what it is, is an elongated Family Guy episode that was turned into a western and eliminate the restrictions that television would place upon it.
I would not mind if McFarlane would make a movie that parodies spaghetti westerns. I would not mind if it even parodies movies like Django Unchained. But that isn’t this movie. The only thing keeping it from being a Family Guy movie is the fact that the characters are not named Peter Griffin or Lois Griffin and so forth. It is the same jokes, it is the same McFarlane style of comedy, it is the same everything. The only difference between A Million Ways to Die in the West and one of his cartoon comedies is the fact that it is live action. It is because of this that I give the most criticism to A Million Ways to Die in the West. I do not mind if McFarlane makes a movie, I will see it and see what it is all about. But the one thing you do not need to do is give us the same damn thing that we could see each week on Fox.
This movie is just terrible. It is misguided attempt to make an homage to western movies. McFarlane does attempt to create a genuinely interesting western, but it sadly falls flat on its face. It is loaded with the juvenile and tired comedy that is connected with his various television shows and as a result feels like nothing more than an elongated live action version of shows like Family Guy. It is a movie that is best to be avoided at all cost.
Final Score 1/5
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