However, with A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST tv/movie mirth maker Seth MacFarlane gives it a try. And what he’s ended up with is a ‘B Western’ in the truest sense of the word.
That said, take away the films incredibly crude language and storytelling and the comedy would surely have fallen flat. Sure Mel Brooks had his fart jokes but he didn’t need to rely on the language shock factor to have us rolling in the aisles.
The story here has sheep rancher MacFarlane losing his fickle girlfriend Amanda Seyfried to Mustacherie owner Neil Patrick Harris. But taking away the sting is town newcomer Charlize Theron—the wife of gunslinger Clinch Leatherwood played by Liam Neeson.
A shootout in the making?
And so it goes, brutal violence mixed with heavy doses of farts, semen, diarrhea and just about any fluids the body can produce.
Probably the best scenes in the film involve the town whore Sarah Silverman and her shy (virgin) boyfriend Giovanni Ribisi. She’ll service up to 15 men on a slow day in ANY way they want it. But being the good Christian she is, Silverman won’t consumate her love with Ribisi until they’re married.
There are plenty of side gags along the way that’ll keep a smile on your face throughout the spoof’s nearly two hour running time. And that’s just part of the problem with this comedy.
MacFarlane wrote and co-produced the film. He also directed and stars in it. My contention is that the project would have been better served had he given up the lead acting role—not one of his stronger assets.
As I sat watching him maneuver through the scenes I was imagining the likes of maybe a Paul Rudd in the role. Now that could REALLY have worked.
A tip of the funny hat to the selection of cameos in the picture—especially one which really brings down the house. But you’ll get no spoilers here from Jack, thank you very much.
And even though it’s far from being another TED for Seth, it’s definitely worth your time and movie dollars. That is if you’re not easily offended and can overlook some—or a lot— of the film’s pitfalls.
Oh, almost forgot. There are a couple of quickie funny scenes in the end credits. The second coming at the very tail end, so don’t leave early if you’re interested.
A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST serving up a genre-bending, very R-rated grade of somewhere between a B- and C+.
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. on NewsRadio KMBZ FM & AM.