run time: 116 mins
considered: Comedy, Western
director: Seth MacFarlane
starring: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Lian Neeson, Giovanni Ribisi, Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman, Christopher Hagen, Wes Studi, Matt Clark, Evan Jones, Aaron McPherson, Rex Linn, Brett Rickaby, Alex Borstein
movie summary: Somewhere in the middle of no where in the American western frontier lives Albert (Seth MacFarlane), a sheep farmer who has just got dumped by his pretty girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried). Extremely sad and depressed Albert debates moving to San Francisco to get over Louise until the new girl in town Anna (Charlize Theron) takes an interest in him. Only problem is she may already spoken for.
Albert’s best friend Edward (Giovanni Ribisi) and Ruth (Sarah Silverman) try to be there for him when his life falls apart. One night while drinking at the saloon Alberta gets hammered and goes to Louise’s house to talk about things only to find out she is seeing someone else. The next day Louise and Foy (Neil Patrick Harris) are seen making out which pushes Albert over the edge. He goes into hiding for a week until Edward drags him out to church where he meets Anna. That night at the bar a fight breaks out and Albert saves Anna from getting crushed during the brawl which leads to the pair going for walk.
Anna and Albert attend the local fair together as a couple in order to impress Louise and make her come crawling back to Albert. When the two couples cross paths Anna challenges Foy to a shoot out to win a prize and some money. She volunteers Albert who has never fired a gun before and he loses. She offers to double the bet if she can shoot six for six and Foy agrees. She shots all eight targets in eight shots winning a stuffed animal and a dollar for Albert. In an attempt to show he is macho and won’t back down from a challenge, Albert wants to have a show down with Foy one week from Saturday, Foy is surprised at the offer and having just watched him miss all the targets agrees to the showdown. Albert comes to his senses after the couple leave and begins to stress since he knows he can’t shoot. Anna offers to spend the week with him teaching him how to shoot and build up his confidence to win.
The pair travel by horse outside of the town to practice shooting. The pair exchange stories and life experiences but Anna doesn’t always share everything from her past. Albert begins to fall for his teacher since she is really attractive, smart, and funny. His gun skills improve everyday from shooting at bottles and plates every day, and by Friday night he is ready to give it his best shot at the showdown. Anna and Albert attend the town dance that night where they share a kiss. She promises to be at his side when the showdown goes down at noon.
Clinch (Liam Neeson) is the west’s most feared gunslinger who happens to roll into town looking for his wife. When he finds out Albert has been spending time with her he challenges him to a gunfight the next day 3pm. Albert’s showdown with Foy never happens when he backs down stating he is no longer interested in Louise. Clinch goes to Albert’s home to kill him when Albert escapes on his horse before getting kidnapped by a group of Indians. That night he tries some heavy drugs that make him hallucinate and see his future. Clinch doesn’t know where Albert is so in an attempt to get him to show up to the fight he holds his wife hostage at gun point. Albert shows up with only a few minutes to spare and tries his best to reason his way out of the confrontation.
my thoughts: I will admit I was in a pretty good mood this evening when I went to see A Million Ways to Die in the West. I just caught up with a buddy I haven’t seen in two months and had a really good chicken burger for dinner. Why I bring this up is because once this movie started and got going, I sat there wondering when it would end because I wasn’t impressed with it. Sure I laughed at a bunch of funny moments but this just wasn’t a good movie.
A Million Ways is rather long, dragged out, and is missing something to make it the comedy of the summer. MacFarlane has made a career of pushing the envelope and saying some pretty edgy stuff like he did in Ted and Family Guy. There are a million jokes, some time piece jokes, a few racial ones, and a lot of sex jokes which made many other people in attendance laugh. I just couldn’t bring myself down to their levels and rolled my eyes at several attempts at comedy.
The major cast members that include Seyfried, Patrick Harris, Ribisi, Silverman, and Neeson fill out the story nicely but none of them are given enough back story for us to get interested in them. They all seem one-dimensional and if they weren’t even involved in the plot I don’t think any of us would have cared.
Most of you will read my review and question my judgement but I’m sorry to say this movie just didn’t appeal to me. My hope is that you enjoy the movie when you go out to see it because it will be hilarious for so many of you while there will be a few of you that will agree with me. I kept thinking through out the movie that I would have rather sat through a second screening of Blended which I didn’t really like either, but now as we move forward from this movie we can all look forward to MacFarlane’s next big project in summer 2015, Ted 2.
my star rating: 3 out 10
imdb.com: 6.4 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 33% out 100%
robertebert.com: 1 out 4