WRITTEN BY: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild
DIRECTED BY: Seth MacFarlane
STARRING: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris
RATING: 3.5 stars
If you have seen Ted or Family Guy, you know exactly what to expect from Seth MacFarlane. The writer, director and producer is true to form in A Million Ways To Die In The West. There are plenty of offensive and dirty jokes, as well as toilet humour and sexual references. There is a little less swearing than you might expect, which is not at all to say the language is in any way tame. MacFarlane has a certain style that at this point you either love or hate. Personally, I am a fan and enjoyed the film's mocking of old western films.
Set in the Wild West where there are seemingly endless ways for people to die before their time, the film is about a sheep farmer named Albert (Seth MacFarlane) who seems to be the only person with any sense in town. When he backs out of a gunfight, his girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) dumps him for Foy (Neil Patrick Harris), who has an impressive moustache. Just as Albert is thinking about leaving town, a mysterious woman named Anna (Charlize Theron) arrives and insists on helping Albert turn his life around. But when her notorious outlaw husband Clinch (Liam Neeson) comes to town, Albert is forced to stand up to all of his worst fears.
Albert may seem like a coward at the start, but he is actually a very sweet character and MacFarlane makes him very likeable. Seyfried is a trooper for relishing the role as a ditzy country girl and the jokes about her big eyes are great. Harris is very funny and has a memorable song about moustaches, as well as a line paying homage to his character on How I Met Your Mother. But his poo scene (you'll know what I'm talking about when you see it) is too disgusting. Giovanni Ribisi is hilarious playing a virgin named Edward who is engaged to a prostitute named Ruth, played by Sarah Silverman. The couple want to wait to have sex until they are married despite her sleeping with everyone else in town. Both play their roles straight and the jokes surrounding their awkward situation are certainly milked for all they are worth. Theron is charming and well cast as a strong heroine. Neeson is also brilliant as a bad guy. There are also some fantastic cameos, but I will not spoil any of them.
Some jokes fell flat and parts of the film could easily have been cut out to reduce the two-hour running time. But A Million Ways To Die In The West has some enjoyable gags and is sure to be a success at the box office.