review: a million ways to die in the west (2014)

Ok, so I watched this pretty much right after I watched Tammy (2014), in hopes that I would get at least a few laughs into my day. While still somewhat unsatisfying, this film proved to be slightly funnier than Tammy, thank god.

Synopsis (IMDB): As a cowardly farmer begins to fall for the mysterious new woman in town, he must put his new-found courage to the test when her husband, a notorious gun-slinger, announces his arrival.

A Million Ways to Die in the West.

A Million Ways to Die in the West.

Confession – I never watched Ted (2012). Oops. It does however, have a higher IMDB rating than A Million Ways to Die in the West, so maybe I’ll give it a shot.

Ok. Seth McFarlane and Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris, and Liam Neeson, all together. Who would have guessed? With this stacked cast, and pretty funny trailer, this film made to be a promising watch. In reality, I can’t say it was disappointing per say, but I still didn’t get that nice fuzzy feeling inside that I normally get from watching a really funny movie. Like Bridesmaides, or The Proposal, or even Funny with a Chance of Meatballs (which was actually maybe the most hilarious out of the three). Yeah I did laugh. But the slapstick, gruesome, insensitive images of death and blood splattering everywhere that occurred approx. every half hour were unnecessary, unwelcome, and scarred this film for me.

Before the gore.

Before the gore.

It’s not like I’m a prude with gore. I watch shows like Game of ThronesHemlock Grove, and Dexter happily. They come alongside great story lines, and the gore has meaning. The spillage of guts in A Million Ways to Die in the West however, were just extra. Bad extra.

The plot in my opinion was actually ok. All too often, comedy films these days come with the worst plots that never go anywhere. There was some model of an archetypal plot here, and I was somewhat impressed. Albert’s (McFarlane) quest to get his ex-girlfriend (Seyfried) back, with the help of the “wise”, expert new girl, Anna (Theron), included the main plot, some subplots, and a bunch of challenges and obstacles for Albert to reshape, self-realize, and get to his ultimate goal.

Anna (Theron) coaching Albert (McFarlane).

Anna (Theron) coaching Albert (McFarlane).

McFarlane did a great job at presenting his role. I’m so glad we actually got to see him onscreen, not just hear his voice, and I hope he appears more often in the future. He isn’t the best looking dude in the world, but he isn’t terrible, and has this boyish charm that makes him loveable.

In terms of the other actors, lets go down the list. Theron was great at the comedic, cocky, hot female type role. Her self confidence, natural beauty, and deep voice make her the ultimate package in casting for this film. Seyfried wasn’t bad, but her supporting role in this film didn’t allow her to shine like she did in films like Mamma MiaLes Miserables, and Chloe. Not her fault though. Neil Patrick Harris was his usual hilarious self. I know some people who really don’t like him – but I think he’s a pretty funny guy, and pulls of the role of over-confident young man very nicely. Lastly, Neeson was a boss as always. I first fell in love with him through his performance in Taken, and really don’t think he can do anything wrong. Yes, he gets type casted, but I’m not complaining.

Charlize Theron as Anna.

Charlize Theron as Anna.

As a final note for this film. While Tammy was too long at 97 minutes, this film really seemed too short at 116 minutes. It could have gone on longer for a little while and I would still be happy.

Ok – side note before my final rating. I came across THIS while surfing through the actors’/actresses’ IMDB pages and OMG WOW I just got really excited. I hope you share in my excitement.

just my rating: ★★★½

Other reviews on A Million Ways to Die in the West:
The Andy Gaudion Blog – Summer Comedy Double Scoop
Other Opinions are Welcome But Wrong – Oh, Come On…
Modern Cable – A Million Laughs

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