Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Million Ways to Die in the West - Review

Lowly sheep-farmer Albert Stark (Seth MacFarlane) loses his girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) after a disappointing duel, yet shortly gains a new woman friend (Charlize Theron) who teaches him how to operate a revolver and the game of jealousy. Unfortunately, she is also the wife to a legendary bandit (Liam Neeson). Calling A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST a misfire insults the usage and power of a pun, a vastly inferior form of comedy but still capable of producing a laugh. This movie is an act of terrorism. It contains a cacophonous bushel of sad souls, all screaming out a repertoire of crude/lame groaners before instantly self-imploding after every single one of them bombs on screen. Sure, that's a ridiculously extreme statement but how best can I label this ghastly sight, a picture that left myself and the rest of the paying audience utterly shell-shocked. Just review the plot description again for the first movie error; this western, which goes a full two hours (!), has the foundation of an 80's teen flick. For the first half of this travesty, we are supposed to enjoy seeing 40-year-old MacFarlane trying to woo back someone who can still pass as a teenager, only to eventually realize that there's a far more attractive and talented actress who's willing to laugh at all his awful comedy.

All of the jokes are repeated nonstop and painful to experience, from its first utterance to its 40th encore: Sarah Silverman is a dirty prostitute yet she refuses to have pre-marital sex with her boyfriend; taking a photo was weird back in the day; mustaches are funny, etc. If all else fails, ADR some poop noises, feature a pointless cameo, or switch to anti-comedy. The latter of this lot is the true deal-breaker; there is nothing more painful to sit through than having a character stand in the middle of the frame, breaking and drilling the 4th wall until it's dust, as he/she over-explains what was the joke and why you need to laugh. Nope, I will not laugh nor give you a pity clap, Mr. MacFarlane, for you have wasted my time with your disgraceful movies and helped expedite the modern acceptance of the western genre. And for the sake of everyone involved, Mr. MacFarlane, keep your day job as a voice actor; people want to hear you, not see you.


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