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.

Stuff To Look At

Here lies the brand new Interstellar trailer, plus Cinderella, Transformers: Age of Extinction, A Million Ways to Die in the West and more…

Interstellar

Here is the latest Interstellar trailer. Christopher Nolan’s hotly anticipated film stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. Interstellar will be released in the UK on 7th November 2014.

Cinderella

Hot on the tails of the upcoming Maleficent, another Disney classic is given the live-action treatment. Starring Cate Blanchett, Stellan Skarsgård and Helena Bonham Carter, and directed by Kenneth Branagh, This teaser does not reveal much, except an awfully shiny glass slipper. I always thought glass shoes would be incredibly painful to walk in, yet Cinderella dances the night away in hers. Anyway, Cinderella is set for release on 3rd April 2015.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Here is the latest trailer for Transformers: Age of Extinction. The most important thing you will see occurs in the last twenty seconds. Dinobots! Starring Marky Mark, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer, although the humans are decidedly less important than the robots in disguise. Transformers: Age of Extinction hits UK screens on 10th July 2014.

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Above is a clip from the upcoming comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West. Without context, the clip seems only to offer a glimpse into the character of Albert, played by Seth MacFarlane, who also directs, produces and co-writes the film. A Million Ways to Die in the West is released in cinemas on 30th May 2014.

22 Jump Street

Here is a new clip from 21 Jump Street sequel 22 Jump Street. The film sees Schmidt and Jenko head to college. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum had good chemistry in the first film, which will hopefully be replicated here. 22 Jump Street hits UK cinemas on 6th June 2014.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I saw this trailer in Imax a few days ago, and it looks mighty impressive on the big screen. The follow-up to the 2011 hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes stars Gary Oldman and Jason Clarke. I am hoping for flashback sequences of baby Cesar, although great action will do just fine. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is released on 17th July 2014.

Summer of Cinema

Here is a compilation of all the big films that are being released this summer, from the Film Distributors’ Association. I didn’t recognise all of them, but there are some exciting films to come this season. If you can’t get enough of trailer compilations, I suggest you check out this blockbuster one by AMONymous.

Stuff To Look At

Plenty of cinematic treasure this week, with the new A Million Ways to Die in the West trailer, Noah, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and more…

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Warning: this A Million Ways to Die in the West trailer is red band. A Million Ways to Die in the West is the latest film from Seth MacFarlane, who also leads a cast that includes Charlize Theron and Liam Neeson. A Million Ways to Die in the West is set for release on 6th June 2014 in the UK.

Noah

This is the Superbowl TV spot for Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. It is an intriguing prospect; a director like Aronofsky doing a large-scale biblical epic. The story of Noah does not seem meaty enough for a feature film, so it plot must be fleshed out somehow. The mystery of the unicorns perhaps. Noah is released in UK cinemas on 4th April 2014.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Black Widow

This new character poster for Captain America: The Winter Soldier suggests Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow has a prominent role to play in this Marvel sequel. Given her somewhat ambiguous nature in previous appearances, it will be interesting to see what director’s Anthony and Joe Russo do with her here. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is hits UK screens on 26th March 2014.

The LEGO Movie

I used to love Lego so I find The LEGO Movie appealing. From the above featurette, the film smartly does not seem to take itself seriously. With a host of star names and featuring Batman, I am hoping the film will be an amusing adventure. The LEGO Movie is released in cinemas on 14th February 2014.

A Long Way Down

An adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel, A Long Way Down offers a rather macabre premise made humorous. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette and Aaron Paul, A Long Way Down is out in UK cinemas on 21st March 2014.

Starred Up

Starred Up posterStarred Up is a new British drama starring Jack O’Connell and Rupert Friend. The film is about Eric, a troubled teenager transitioning from young offenders’ institute to prison. You can watch the trailer here. Starred Up is released on 21st March 2014.

Maleficent

This new trailer for Maleficent was released earlier this week, with Lana Del Ray’s rendition of ‘Once Upon a Dream’. Angelina Jolie was looks like she was made for the title role, in physical appearance at least. Maleficent looks like it will be quite dark, going back to its fairy tale roots. Maleficent hits UK cinemas on 30 May 2014.

The Invisible Woman

Here is a TV spot for the upcoming film The Invisible Woman. The story of Charles Dickens and his young lover Nelly, the film stars Ralph Fiennes (who also directs) and Felicity Jones. You can read my review here. The Invisible Woman is released nationwide in the UK on 21st February 2014.