Tuesday, September 9

A Million Ways to Die in the West

A lot of people were impressed with Ted. Sad to say, I was not one of those people. I thought I'd try my luck with the next McFarlane production, considering that I do enjoy Family Guy, and it's one of his strongest animated work. A Million Ways to Die in the West had a good trailer, and I was hopeful that this one I would like or at least enjoy, but I was wrong on both ends. Not only did the movie lack a stable source of humor (the movie employed different kinds), but the leading actor was sincerely unlikable. Too bad the director is the lead actor.

McFarlane stars as Albert, a sheep herder who's bad at his job and has recently lost the woman he loves because he wasn't tough enough. He can't handle a gun, he's very bad at physical combat and confrontation, and is basically living a down-on-his-luck kind of life. When he rescues Anna from a brawl, they form a friendship and she ends up helping him try to win his girlfriend back. Like these kinds of stories, they end up falling in love, but Anna was married to Clinch, a leader of a group of bandits. 

Some parts were funny, some parts were awkward, and some parts were just unfunny. However, in the general sense, the movie felt a little bit off. Sure, it's mostly the kind of humor that McFarlane is known for, but his material was a bit over the place, so he can't really get that punch in. Since it's McFarlane, I think it's safe to assume that it would be hilarious or entertaining - but it wasn't. It really fell short on what it was trying to sell. The movie was really over the place. It could have done without certain scenes, or certain diversions, but it didn't. It very much overstays its welcome. The bad part about all of that was, the movie has a potential to be actually good. Like really good, funny good. The concept was there, but it was the execution and the writing that could have been the problem. 

While it boasts a star-studded cast, McFarlane has given himself the lead role, possibly as a vehicle to potential movies and to show off his skills beyond conceptualization. However, his co-stars all manage to overshadow him. Even if Amanda Seyfried and Neil Patrick Harris had mediocre performances, even they managed to overshadow the leading man. Giovanni Ribisi and Sarah Silverman tried to interject some humor of their own (as the side story), but some scenes were just really awkward. Even the dog managed to overshadow McFarlane. The strongest character there was Charlize Theron, and no matter how silly the material thrown to her was, she executed her role in a star-stunning way. McFarlane was lucky to have her land that role. 

Not only did his co-stars manage to outshine him, McFarlane's character was unlikable himself. While everyone keeps on mentioning how nice he was, it was a bit hard to believe it, especially with his performance. He came off as cocky and proud, not to mention helpless and unconvincing. He has a couple of scenes when he tries to talk himself out of the gun draw, but he's really not doing a good job of being convincing. His antics doesn't go off as funny, but rather he stands as a really proud character...which isn't good because I think he's supposed to come off as humble and modest. 

I found the movie a bit tedious to finish. It dragged a bit longer than it's supposed to, there were some jokes that were inappropriate in every sense of the word. I did like the cameos though, those were unexpected. The set was fantastic and the movie was shot really well. I have to admit that McFarlane did a better job at directing rather than acting. He's currently working on Ted 2, and based on what I've seen, I don't really have high hopes that I'll enjoy it, but I like comedies so I'm still probably going to give it a go.



Final Word: Not impressed. 

Cast: Seth McFarlane, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson
Director: Seth McFarlane
Year: 2014

8 comments:

  1. Great review. I had been looking forward to this until the reviews started coming again. I'm glad I skipped it. I don't think I missed anything.

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    1. I was really expecting it to be funny, and I was looking forward to it as well but it just fell flat. Charlize Theron was the only one basically holding the movie together, in my opinion.

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  2. I think I enjoyed this a little more than you, but then I loved Ted. I'll agree that the film dragged quite a bit though! Great review :)
    - Allie

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    1. Thank you! I like how Ted (the bear) didn't come off as a caricature in the movie, but Ted (the movie) was also a bit disappointing in my book.

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  3. I actually really loved this film (if there is ever another Against the Crown Blogathon i'm laughing). I thought Seth McFarlane was terrible but I laughed all the way through and the cameos and cameo jokes made up for anything I disliked!! I like to go against the crowd!! ;-)

    Just wanted to let you know that Flick Chicks have nominated you for a One Lovely Blog Award, the details are here http://goo.gl/j0rnU7. Happy Nominating!! :-)

    Jenna

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    1. McFarlane really was terrible, I wonder if the movie would have worked better for me if he didn't play the lead character.

      Thank you for the nomination! :)

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  4. I saw this one in an advanced screening, and ended up kind of liking it (I liked Ted, though I'm not really a fan of Family Guy). I think it was the novelty of seeing it two weeks before it came to theaters...but I also enjoyed the fact that the characters really seemed totally out of place (they felt totally contemporary, despite the 1800's setting).

    You are so right about Theron! She was really good, and brought an odd dignity to this ridiculous movie. Neeson seemed as if he'd rather be somewhere else, though.

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    1. The contemporary feeling of the movie was a good factor in the movie, partly the reason why I thought that the movie had the potential to be good. Theron might as well be the only reason to watch this, she was clearly the star and I liked how she turned her content to her favor.

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