Last night was our advanced screening of the new Seth MacFarlane's new flick "A Million Ways to Die In The West."  He wrote, directed, and stars in the modern look at a classic western, with an all star cast, and the Seth MacFarlane humor you'd expect.  So do it hit the mark, or misfire (like Seth in a classic scene from the movie)?

Judging from the audience response at the screening, this movie is pretty good, with comments ranging from "Couldn't have done it better," "Hysterical," "The Blazing Saddles of the 21st century," The kind of movie we've been needing," to "It was a comedy, tragedy, western, farce, musical... what a mix!"  And that last thought is about 100% accurate.  However, for me, that's the problem I have with the flick.

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I was simply confused by the movie.  The movie was branded as a raunchy comedy, which should be expected from the "Family Guy" creator, but it's got a lot of heart.  At times, it was almost more drama or romance than comedy.  But before I call it a good date movie, there's some over-the-top comical gore and disturbing toilet/sexual humor that can be a major turn-off for many.   There was also some major politically incorrect humor, but we should expect that from Macfarlane.  Honestly, as one audience member commented, "it was so out of taste and shocking, it made the bits even funnier."  Wrong?  Yes.  But funny.

So who's going to love it?  If you love Seth's stuff, take caution, there's plenty of drama that might be a turn-off.  If you love Western's, this movie does a good tribute to them, without making fun of them, just be ready for the raunch/gore.

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Here's some other major takeaways:

  • Huge cast, with major cameos.  Most noticeably, watch for hysterical bit parts from Ryan Reynolds, Christopher Lloyd, Dennis "Mr. Belding" Haskins, and Jamie Foxx (during the credits), to name a few.
  • There's plenty of scenes you can tell were brilliantly ad-libbed, including a Seth scene at sunset which has Charlize completely cracking up, and a Neil Patrick Harris scene during a gun duel where the extras can't contain themselves.
  • Sarah Silverman has some major one-liners.  Many that hit, and a few that completely missed.
  • After viewing this movie, you will never look at passing gas, drinking and riding a horse, female body parts, and daisies in the same way.
  • Giovanni Ribissi is perfectly type cast, and has some amazing dance moves.

 

Reviews coming in have been mixed, most adding it wasn't as funny as expected, which we agree.  However, it makes up for it with the "well-rounded" experience. Overall, I'd give it a 4 of 5, and don't expect it to be a huge box office smash by any means, but it's worth checking out. It opens Friday!