Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Far be it for me to tell Seth McFarlane what's funny and what's not funny.  This dude is a legend and has been a legend for a while, and he's barely forty.  But while this cat has forgotten more funny than I will ever know, Armstead still has one small rule, his only rule, when it comes to comedy.  I've said it many times in these pages, but alas I'm not nearly popular enough for Armstead's First and Last rule of comedy to have completely caught on.  That rule being 'Dookey ain't funny'.  Scatalogical humor is never funny.  Never has been, never will be.  Getting your face peed on is rarely funny either, which is also featured in this film.  In fact, almost all jokes involving human body secretions generally aren't funny.  Over decade ago 'Something About Mary' kind of got away with some classic human secretion humor, but that was a while ago.  Admittedly I don't know a lot, but I do know that 'Dookey ain't funny'.  That aside, was the rest of 'A Million Ways to Die in the West' funny?  Sure it was… for like the first forty minutes. 

Everyone considered Albert Stark (McFarlane) the coward of the county.  Because he is.  This film started with Albert weaseling himself out of a gunfight, then followed by his girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) breaking up with him for being a weasel.  This film does touch on one of my long held beliefs that Amanda Seyfried looks like an alien.  The absolute cutest alien you would ever want to see, but an alien nonetheless. 

Albert has a couple of really good friends who help him get by in Albert (Giovanni Ribisi) and Albert's girlfriend Ruth the Whore (Sarah Silverman), but considering his ex-girl has started going with Foy (Neil Patrick Harris) the natty Moustachier… uh, that's a guy who sells moustache grooming products in case you didn't know… and since Albert is living a life that is just overall terrible, now Albert just wants to leave this awful place where death is constantly around the corner.
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That is until she showed up in town, she being the beautiful gunslinger Anna (Charlize Theron).  These two hit it off just great, Anna laughing at Albert's jokes, teaching him how to shoot, and pretending to be his girlfriend just to make Louise jealous and stuff… best buds these two.  Maybe even best buds in love?  Unfortunately Anna failed to tell Albert that she's the wife of the vicious bandit Clinch Leatherwood (Liam Neeson) and she's just in town to keep his spot warm until he gets there in a few days.

Clinch and his gang will eventually get to this town, Clinch will not be happy that some clown is sweet on his lady, and Clinch is going to kill this clown.  Unless Albert can find the bravery that he never knew he had to save his town and claim his true love.  Or something.

So this movie had me pretty much in tears almost from almost the first frame.  From the Sam Elliot-esque narration to the setup of this movie, which is basically 2014 Seth McFarlane stuck in an amped up, cartoonish version of the grand Old West, and this was some funny stuff.  How does this guy think up this nonsense?  Clearly Seth McFarlane has a brand of humor that resonates with me since I do own most of the seasons of Family Guy on DVD and also thought 'Ted' was one of the funniest movies of whatever year that movie came out, so despite what I might've heard about this movie, Seth McFarlane's my guy so I had to see what's up.

The thing is, while the movie really did start out hilariously funny for me, after a while the shtick kind of got old.  The aging, smart-mouthed, foul-mouthed, nerd-infused frat boy stuck in the middle of a bunch of old west idiots stopped being funny after a while.  Even though it never stopped being funny to Charlize Theron's character.  This is why she has an Academy Award this woman, because she genuinely laughed at all of Albert's jokes all the way through this movie, even though we can guarantee you that all of Albert's jokes weren't funny.  If I was the guy that Charlize is dating now, who I hear is Sean Penn at the moment, the next time Charlize laughed at one of my jokes I'd be concerned.

And not only did the humor start to fade, but the movie just went on way too long.  Two hours for a moronic comedy is stretching it a bit.  True, I said this same exact thing about 'Blended' a few days ago, and please recognize that this movie is funnier than that movie, but the same concept applies.  This is 'A Million Ways to Die in the West', not 'Once Upon a Time in the West'.  Even 'Blazing Saddles', the first and last name in tasteless Western Comedies… Sorry, Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County… but that movie got out us in and out in 90 minutes.  Fading humor combined with an extended running time just made the fading humor more pronounced.

But all that being said, I did laugh and I laughed loud.  Forty minutes worth of solid funny is a good thing.  Followed by 80 minutes worth of fading funny… not so much, but those first forty still added up to one of the funniest movies I've seen this year.
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