In 1974, director Mel Brooks made a movie called Blazing Saddles. It truly set a new ground for the Western genre by making fun of it. From its outrageous use of the n-word, to a horse getting knocked out by one single punch, to cowboys passing gas while eating baked beans around a campfire, the movie is, and will always be, one of the funniest movies of all-time. Forty years later, Seth MacFarlane decided to direct his own Western spoof. Instead, making the comedy much darker, the violence much more graphic, the running time a lot longer, and the cameos unneeded. Seth MacFarlane should be ashamed of himself for having Christopher Lloyd to be a part of this mess.
Being a straight contender for one of the worst movies of 2014, A Million Ways to Die in the West is the latest from Seth MacFarlane, the same idiot who brought us Family Guy, American Dad, and Ted. He was also the host for the 2012 Oscars. It still baffles my mind how the Academy allowed MacFarlane to do something like that. His jokes can be pretty funny, but for the most part, they can be unbelievably crude, vulgar and tiresome. To sum it up, I am not a fan of Seth MacFarlane or Family Guy at all.
Albert Stark (Seth MacFarlane) is a sheep farmer living in Arizona in 1882. He can’t get over the fact on how nasty and dangerous the Old West can be. He describes the various ways on how people die:
Diseases, outlaws, ravenous wild animals, and so on.
After withdrawing himself from a gunfight, Albert’s girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) decides to break up with him. A depressed Albert loses all of his hope and courage when he sees her with the mustachioed Foy (Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother). One day, he sets his eyes on a beautiful woman (Charlize Theron), who just came into the town. She shows him how to fire a gun (the only laugh-out-loud funny scene in the movie), eat a marijuana cookie, and having a good time. However, her outlaw husband (Liam Neeson) hates this, and decides to come into the town to kill Albert. This is up to Albert to maintain his courage.
A Million Ways to Die in the West feels like it was written by a teenager trapped in Seth MacFarlane’s body. There are jokes in the movie that are used over and over again. It’s like a reminder if anyone in the audience didn’t get the joke before, they will get it again. There is a scene in which a man dies at a saloon from one of his own farts; you thought that scene gets old? Oh no, it gets better when Albert’s father talks about his bowel movements. If you’re not tired of that, it gets EVEN better when Neil Patrick Harris takes a person’s hat to take a dump before a gunfight.
With an ensemble cast, the movie doesn’t make up for its limited character development that it focuses more on the jokes. The jokes are a character within themselves; repetitive, vulgar, childish, and immature.
Unfortunately, Liam Neeson’s bad-assery is nowhere to be found during the two-hour running time. I rather watch Blazing Saddles than having to watch this piece of garbage again.