Saturday, May 31, 2014

Movie Review: A Million Ways To Die In the West


The brilliant mind behind Family Guy and 2012's Ted has done it again.  Seth MacFarlane's new western-comedy, A Million Ways To Die In The West, hit it out of the park this weekend.

The film follows cowardly sheep farmer, Albert, who loses his girlfriend after backing out of a gun fight.  He then saves the life of a beautiful and mysterious woman, who shows him how to be confident and courageous.  But when a dangerous outlaw arrives in town, he must use that courage to save the day or die trying.

Seth MacFarlane wrote, directed, produced, and stars in this hilarious riff on a Blazing Saddles-type comedy where everything in the Old West is out to kill you, even the doctors.  He provided some great laughs, a few touching moments, and some unforgettable cameos.  In his first live-action leading role, MacFarlane proved that he's not just a voice, but can hold his own with great actors like Charlize Theron, Neil Patrick Harris, and Liam Neeson.

Speaking of the cast, A Million Ways... managed to bring together a stellar group of talented actors other than the aforementioned three.  We also get to see Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, and MacFarlane's Family Guy co-star, Alex Borstein.

Seyfried (Red Riding Hood, Mean Girls) plays Albert's fickle girlfriend, Louise, who leaves him for mustache enthusiast, Foy, played by the incredible Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother).  Neil's performance is wonderful, like he channeled an Old West version of Barney Stinson, going as far as even using one of his classic lines from the show.  

Giovanni Ribisi plays Albert's dim-witted best friend, Edward, who is always there for him.  His prostitute girlfriend, Ruth, is played by comedian Sarah Silverman, and together these two have an amazing comedic chemistry.  Everytime they are on screen, something hilarious is right around the corner.

And then there's Liam Neeson as badass outlaw, Clinch Leatherwood.  He definitely fits in as a tough-as-nails cowboy in the Old West, and it's always a pleasant surprise to see him in a comedy, even if it's just a cameo like in Anchorman 2.

After seeing Ted, I was excited to hear that MacFarlane was doing another film, and once I saw the trailer for the first time (the restricted trailer to be specific), I was all in.  That trailer had me laughing so much that I had to watch it several times in a row.  And the film definitely delivered for me.  I was laughing throughout the entire film.

There were a few slow points though, which were most likely due to its somewhat long runtime for a comedy (almost two hours), but I was never bored, nor did I ever lose my entertainment.  This film is no Ted, but it's still definitely worth a watch if you're into MacFarlane's style of comedy.  

Josh's Rating:  7.5/10

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