Self-aware but too many misses
As a big fan of Seth MacFarlane, I expected more from A Million Ways to Die in the West. Written, Directed and Starring Seth MacFarlane, I think he took on too much in this one. Sheep farmer, Albert, is for lack of better term, what we could call a beta-male. When a beautiful woman comes into his Western town, he does what he can to win her over.
The plot of this film is pretty simple. Many beats are predictable, we know our main character is a bit weak, and his love-interest is fairly strong. Both physically and mentally. It’s a role reversal because she has what he thinks he needs, and he has what she is “supposed to be”. It’s fairly simple and…I’ve seen that story before. So what sets this story apart? Unfortunately not much. I haven’t seen this story told in the context of a Western, but other than that, there’s not much to really set it apart.
Calling this film a Western is a bit of a stretch, although it is marketed as one. This film is more of an homage to Westerns than an actual Western. The film is very self aware of the time period it is portraying and the films that it is borrowing from. Rather than leaning into Western films, it parodies them, therefore it’s more of a comedy and homage than an actual Western.
Some of the characters are pretty funny. For example, the prostitute who is saving herself for marriage…it’s funny. In general, the movie does have some good jokes. Not enough hit though. About half of the jokes simply missed, which was disappointing since I find Seth MacFarlane’s work so funny. I think this film failed by bringing in a star studded cast of “funny people” who could “act funny”. In the end, sure there are some funny moments, but the film itself, isn’t all that funny.
Overall, the film doesn’t offer anything very special. It isn’t creative enough to set it apart from similar films and it’s not funny enough to make me want to watch it again. Would I watch it again? Nah. Should you watch it? Honestly, you can skip out on this one and you won’t miss much.