Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Rated : R

Stars: Seth Macfarlane,  Charlize Theron,  Neil Patrick Harris,  Amanda Seyfried,  Liam Neeson,  Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman

Director: Seth MacFarlane

Genre: Comedy/Western

If the image of Neil Patrick Harris developing sudden gastrointestinal problems, grabbing a stranger's hat and taking a dump in it right in the middle of the street doesn't tickle your funny bone, then you probably are not cut out for this rootin' tootin' tale of the west that comes from the  flipped-out imagination of Seth MacFarlane, creator of South Park, Family Guy, and the movie Ted.

It's like watching an episode of Family Guy in an old west setting with a potpourri (poopourri?) of similarly outlandish sight gags and politically incorrect stuff that wouldn't fly on TV, but it's all brilliantly done--and whether or not this type of effrontery to the let's pretend "sensitivity" of modern times is your cup of tea, you have to admire the creativity and the pure adolescent joy with which MacFarlane and company have gone about their business in A Million Ways To Die In The West. 

There is so much to like about this movie. From the opening theme, which evokes a Bonanza kind of nostalgia for the old westerns, to a really trippy mushroom induced CGI sequence, to the surprising sweetness of a boy-girl romance that's interwoven between all the gags. 

With a big name ensemble cast, who were all good sports to have signed onto such a project, undoubtedly knowing that A Million Ways To Die In The West was going to take a lot of hits from sourpuss reviewers.



(I guess Tim liked it.) And so did I. In a big way! It's this generation's answer to Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles. Of course, I've already encountered some negative flak from certain film buffs I know. But I say, "Suck it up and enjoy!" Okay. Maybe there's a bit of overkill with the bean-farting jokes and the pratfalls. But this is a film that I challenge anyone feeling in a bad mood to go and see. You won't feel in a bad mood afterwards, I guarantee it.

What is most endearing is Seth MacFarlane's character. He really nails guys' insecurities in a very original way. (Remember Ted and how real the relationship was between Mark Whalberg's character and his teddy bear?) This guy, whose name Albert is klutzy-sounding to begin with, can't do anything right. Which is a clever way to entice viewers' sympathy. In fact, nobody can do anything right in this film which is why it's so much fun.

Tim has already mentioned the musical score (by Joel McNeely). But I'd like to add that it sets the perfect tone for A Million Ways To Die... before the first undoing is undone.
You can tell that the actors really enjoyed themselves: Liam Neeson as Clinch, the fastest gun in the west; Giovanni Ribisi as Edward, a lovesick puppy, trying desperately not to consummate his relationship with the town whore until they are officially wed; big-eyed Amanda Seyfried as Louise, who dumps Farmer Albert in favor of mustachioed Neil Patrick Harris. The biggest compliment I can pay this film is that I definitely want to see it again. And again. And again...

Grade: A +


  1. Ok an A+ ftpm Jill means must must go and Besides with 107degree weather in Tucson what better place than the movie theater. I'll catch it soon

    1. An A+ from Jill is like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval!

  2. As one who would much rather be outside walking or swimming, you've convinced me that maybe I should sit still inside a building for this one. Thanks.

    1. You may not be sitting still, you may be squirming (uh...with laughter) for this one!