A Million Ways to Die in the West: Film Review – Not the next Blazing Saddles

Before its release, A Million Ways to Die in the West drew comparisons to films like Blazing Saddles and My Name Is Nobody. Just a few minutes into A Million Ways to Die in the West, it’s clear that it has neither the wit nor the charm, that the aforementioned films possessed.

A Million Ways to Die in the West follows Albert (Seth MacFarlane), whose girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) has recently broken up with him. He crosses paths with Anna (Charlize Theron), who helps him make Louise jealous. What he doesn’t know about Anna, though, is that she happens to be married to Clinch Leatherwood (Liam Neeson), the most dangerous man in town. Drugs, violence and the general menace of the West culminate in a final battle, where only the bravest will survive.

Seth MacFarlane is an unimpressive leading man who fails to make much of an impression on the viewer. Though he’s far from terrible, it’s hard not to wonder how much better the film could’ve been with a different leading man. Perhaps, Jay Baruchel or Jason Bateman would’ve been a more appropriate choice.

Charlize Theron and Liam Neeson are the saving graces of the film. Charlize Theron gives the movie her everything, making the most of a mediocre script. She is as charming and delightful as Amanda Seyfried. Liam Neeson, who plays her husband, delivers a remarkable performance too. In fact, he makes more of a lasting impression on audiences than MacFarlane.

A Million Ways to Die in the West also tries to incorporate self-referential humor. However, this often falls flat and most of the jokes fail to be funny. Though the film does have its funny moments, they are few and far between.

Overall, the film feels like a live-action spin-off of Family Guy. It’s hard not to draw parallels between the two, as A Million Ways to Die in the West is quite similar to the show (sans the costumes, of course). The plot, the acting and the tone of the film feel like anything but a Western.

Why should you watch this film?
Starring, directed and produced by Seth MacFarlane, this film is bound to appeal to his fans. It’s a mildly-entertaining film for MacFarlane fans who are looking to kill some time. However, if you’re looking for a well-made Western comedy, you might want to skip this one.

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