Film Review: A Million Ways to Die in the West

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West is a fine idea in concept, but disappoints in actuality.

Albert is a timid sheep farmer in the Wild West. Too scared to do what it takes to impress his girlfriend Louise, Albert seems a lost cause until newcomer Anna rides into town…

A Million Ways to Die in the West does entertain its viewers, but not in the satisfying way it should. For a comedy, Seth MacFarlane’s film simply is not funny enough. Humour misses more times than it hits. There are not enough belly laughs in A Million Ways to Die in the West. Jokes are more likely to raise a smirk, but often do not provoke even this much of a  reaction. There is a significant amount of toilet humour in the film, which may not be a surprise to those familiar with MacFarlane’s output. However, this also fails; even those with the basest sense of humour will struggle to raise a laugh consistently.

A Million Ways to Die in the West feels almost as if Seth MacFarlane wished to make a Western, but felt he had to put a humorous spin on it. The humour feels tired, with a noticeable lack of effort. Nevertheless, due to this vein of silliness, it is hard to take other aspects of the film seriously. Without the humour to fall back on, the narrative needed to be strong. The bones of the story is fine, yet it is not fleshed out in an engaging manner. The audience are not given enough in order to care about the protagonist.

Seth MacFarlane’s central performance is lazy. There is a lack of range to his performance that is grating. Others in the cast, such as Charlize Theron and Neil Patrick Harris, shine in comparison. The soundtrack is good, and the cameos are fun.

With a second half that drags, A Million Ways to Die in the West needed to be sharper, funnier and more engaging.