Film Review: ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ Goes in All Directions

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Two observations regarding Seth MacFarlane. One, he is a hilarious writer and voiceover talent. Two, he isn’t as good as a comic leading man, on screen and in live action. Those two elements clash brightly in the overlong but funny “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

A film that can make you laugh – and there are a number of good guffaws in this epic – are rare and should be celebrated. But in the midst of the party for “A Million Ways…” there is a feeling that someone has dumped a poo in the punchbowl, which is the type of joke that MacFarlane loves in this film. All the MacFarlane characteristics, known throughout his years within his notable animated series “Family Guy” and “American Dad,’’ are in this send-up, but the “R” rating also gives Seth a license for overkill. And why does this film have a typical Western plot? Did Mel Brooks have to do that for “Blazing Saddles”? It’s a mishmash, but movie fans can mine some comedy gold out of it.

Albert (Seth MacFarlane) is a sheep farmer on the Wild Western plains of 1882 territory of Arizona. He hates his existence, with the only entertainment being a roughneck town in which there are “a millions ways to die.” His best friend Edward (Giovanni Ribisi) has his own problems, his girlfriend Ruth (Sarah Silverman) – one of the town’s most prominent prostitutes – won’t sleep with him because they are Christian.

Albert’s life starts spinning away as his girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) breaks up with him, preferring the a man named Foy (Neil Patrick Harris), who owns the local “Mustachery.” When a mysterious stranger named Anna (Charlize Theron) comes to town, she precedes one of the meanest outlaws in the land, Clinch Leatherwood (Liam Neeson). Meanwhile, Albert keeps trying to survive the one million death scenarios.

“A Million Ways to Die in the West” opens everywhere on May 30th. Featuring Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Liam Neeson, Sarah Silverman and Neil Patrick Harris. Written by Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sukin and Wellesley Wild. Directed by Seth MacFarlane. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “A Million Ways to Die in the West”

Giovanni Ribisi, Seth MacFarlane
Best Pals Edward (Giovanni Ribisi) and Albert (Seth MacFarlane) in ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “A Million Ways to Die in the West”

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Advertisement on Twitter

archive Top Ten Discussions