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
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.