Movie Review: A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

million_ways_to_die_in_the_west_ver11Utterly Offensive but Side Splittingly Funny

Star Ratings

As a fan of most Seth MacFarlane productions, I was thrilled to see the release of a movie based on his book of the same name. Of course, I expected the critics to pan him, because this is Seth MacFarlane and critics love to pan him. This movie was no exception and he’s currently performing at a very low 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So are the critics panning it because he’s actually bad, or are they doing it because it’s Seth MacFarlane?

MacFarlane directs, produces, co-writes and stars in the story of cowardly sheep farmer Albert. After Albert chickens out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend (Amanda Siegfried) leaves him for another man. Then, the mysterious and beautiful Anna (Charlize Theron) arrives in town and teaches Albert how to grow a pair. Everything is going just fine until Ann’s husband, notorious gangster Clinch (Liam Neeson) shows up seeking revenge.

And the verdict is everyone’s panning it because Seth Macfarlane wrote it. I really don’t get the problem people seem to have with this movie. Personally, I haven’t laughed this hard since Ted. Is the humor utterly juvenile and completely disgusting? Absolutely, but this is Seth MacFarlane. I expect that. I wonder what these other critics were expecting? Have they not seen Family Guy?


Honestly, this movie really reminded me of Blazing Saddles, which I’m sure got panned during its first run as well. It feels like that was the kind of vibe MacFarlane was going for and I’m going to say, I think he did it pretty well.

MacFarlane himself is great in the title role, and Theron is an acceptable foil. They have a surprising amount of chemistry, aside of MacFarlane’s goofball antics and they play well together. Neeson is fantastic as well, as he seems to be the only character that isn’t in on the joke. There is a hilarious and fantastically inappropriate scene using shadow that had me laughing hysterically, while Neeson somehow managed to remain deadpan.

Actors playing smaller parts shone as well. Watch for Sarah Silverman, the most morally confused prostitute in the West, and Neil Patrick Harris, a man with a fabulous mustache.

Is the movie utterly offensive? Absolutely, to those who aren’t in on the joke. Blazing Saddles was offensive as well, but it’s still considered a comedic classic. The humor is slap-stick and gross out, sometimes predictable, but it never falls flat.

A Million Ways to Die in the West


At least for me it didn’t. But then again, I’m not the type to get my panties in a twist when a movie fails to be PC. Was is as good as MacFarlane’s last major picture, Ted? That’s like comparing apples and oranges. Both had their high points.

Ted was a bit more unique that A Million Ways to Die, but A Millions Ways to die has more character power behind it.

My advice? Don’t worry too much about what the critics say. I’m sure that most had already written their poor reviews before they even saw the movie, simply because MacFarlane’s name was on it. If you’re not the sensitive type, if you’re a fan of family Guy and Ted, then A Million Ways to Die in the West is right up your alley. Watch the hilarious official trailer below.

[youtube id=”LhmP8UYtipA&feature=kp” width=”633″ height=”356″]

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