I like Seth MacFarlane. I like his sense of humor even if it crossed the lines of good taste once in a while. I am a Family Guy fan, I like his awards hosting talents, and I quite liked his directorial debut Ted. His second feature behind the camera is A Million Ways to Die in the West, a crude comedy also starring MacFarlane.
MacFarlane plays Albert, a cowardly sheep farmer in the American West in 1882 who hates the frontier. When his girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) leaves him for the local owner of the moustachery (Neil Patrick Harris) he meets a mysterious visitor to town, Anna (Charlize Theron). The two hit it off immediately but Albert is unaware that Anna is married to the deadliest outlaw around, Clinch (Liam Neeson). So Anna teaches Albert how to shoot in order to face Clinch and face his fears once and for all.
A Million Ways to Die in the West has some good laughs but at almost two hours, it drags on quite a bit. The movie also feels like it has a bit of an identity crisis. It almost feels like MacFarlane might have wanted to make a serious western. The characters are silly and animated one moment, but always have flashes of seriousness to them. This one element really made many of the jokes fall flat for me. Everyone is entertaining in the movie but the script almost seems like it was never finished, that they just went ahead with an early draft. It’s hard to put my finger on it but A Million Ways to Die in the West just didn’t hit the mark for me.
The Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment is a very nice transfer with a very clean picture, brilliant clarity and a solid audio presentation. A great transfer but a movie that just didn’t feel like it knew what it wanted to be.
Available October 7, 2014 on Blu-ray and DVD.