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31st May 2014

REVIEW – A Million Ways To Die In The West, Basically A Million Ways To Die Of Boredom In The Cinema

Someone may need to put a stop to Seth MacFarlane...

Sue Murphy

Something very curious has happened with Seth MacFarlane. He is perhaps one of the golden boys of comedy; he hosted the Oscars, he is the creator of Family Guy and American Dad and he seems to be one of the go-to people in Hollywood for creating edgy comedy, you just have to look at the success of Ted to see that they are willing to put an awful lot behind him. However, MacFarlane is one of those people who has started to believe his own press, he truly seems like he has started to believe that he is the golden boy of comedy, full stop, but what placed him firmly in the spotlight has suddenly started to grow tiresome and old, the comedy is not as good as it used to be and people seem to becoming a little disillusioned.

Michelangelo couldn’t have an assistant in the Sistine Chapel because they were not working on the project like he wanted them to but let us tell you right now, Seth MacFarlane is not in the same league as Michelangelo and should not have been given autonomy at any stage to work on his production. He is star, director, producer and writer of a Million Ways to Die in the West and to be entirely honest, he really needed someone to just say no. The Western is a genre that could easily have been made fun of but MacFarlane instead somehow managed to produce a film entirely too long, boring and completely unfunny.


Set in the Wild West in 1882, the film follows the life of MacFarlane’s Albert, a cowardly sheep farmer who is basically known as the loser of his town. When Albert’s girlfriend, Louise, breaks up with him, he decides that he must do everything in his power to get her back as she is the one reason he remains in the West and hasn’t left for San Francisco. However, Albert soon discovers that Louise didn’t just break up with him to focus on herself, she has already moved on quite quickly with Foy, the owner of the Moustache store.

With the help of Anna (Theron), Albert challenges Foy in order to win back Louise but over the course of his training discovers that he may actually be falling in love with someone else. However, Anna has a dark past that comes back to haunt her in the form of Clinch, the baddest man in the West who is not too happy that Albert has been seeing his wife.

There are no two ways about this, A Million Ways to Die in the West is probably one of the worst films to make it to the big screen this year. That may seem really harsh but at the particular screening we attended there was only one laugh over the course of a two-hour film which rambled off in so many directions, it basically didn’t really know what it was by the end. To compare this to a Western is an insult to all the brilliant Westerns over the years, to compare it to a comedy is, forgive us for this, laughable.

MacFarlane attempts to make an intelligent comedy out of a million facts about the West that basically makes him look like he has just thrown up Wikipedia all over a script. The narrative, like Family Guy, rambles but where it works in a twenty minute animated comedy, it just doesn’t work over the course of a two-hour film. As for the star power here, Theron has much better things to be doing with her time while Neeson’s action films have definitely worked better than this. That includes Non-Stop. As for Sarah Silverman’s role as a prostitute, we get it, she’s a prostitute, the sex jokes got old five minutes in.

We’re not even going to get started on the juvenile jokes that is basically just potty humour at its absolute worst. You will honestly feel like shouting “grow up, MacFarlane!” at the screen.

We would have expected more from this but with two hours of bad jokes, bad dialogue and sitting in a room with MacFarlane, we began to question the point of life itself. Avoid at all costs.