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A Million Ways to Die in the West

JamesArthurArmstrong JamesArthurArmstrong A Million Ways to Die in the West is an absurd comedy set in the Wild West that focuses on an array of slapstick characters that move to the beat of one long joke that wasn't particularity funny to begin with.

Seth MacFarlane directs, produces, co-writes and plays the role of the cowardly sheep farmer Albert in A Million Ways to Die in the West. After Albert backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love. But when her husband, a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test.

A Million Ways To Die In The West is a unexceptional collection of sniggering moments that will no doubt indulge the Family Guy multitude into falling about laughing. But in theory, it cascades into a mind numbing gag-reel of foolish characters. It never comes close to capturing the same heart and laugh-out-loud moments that made Ted a hit.

Seth MacFarlane amongst some sheep
Seth MacFarlane amongst some sheep

MacFarlene scrounges excessively

MacFarlene scrounges excessively from distinguished satirists such as Mel Brooks. In doing so, he presents a film that tells it’s narrative in a formula that is disillusioned and unqualified to be mentioned in the same breath as any satire movie. There are moments within A Million Ways To Die In The West that give you hope that maybe something worthwhile is approaching, but it’s lack of restraint holds it back dearly. MacFarlane always tries to deliver that extra punch that ultimately misses, giving us cheap joke after cheap joke after cheap joke— it's a tiresome charade.

This style no doubt works handsomely on Family Guy and previous cinematic release Ted, but attempting to tell a story in this way that has sincerity as it’s major theme doesn’t quite work. It’s hard to fully enjoy a film when it lowers itself to visual gags that involve sheep genitalia and diarrhoea. There’s a time and a place for teenage humour, but maybe it’s time for MacFarlane to seek out other comedic approaches because he flat-out fails in forcing us to laugh at his more than played out humour.


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JamesArthurArmstrong JamesArthurArmstrong

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