By now you should know who Seth MacFarlane is. Between his work on the FOX series Family Guy and his 2015 motion picture hit Ted, he’s become more of a household name – or at least his voices have. Well that’s about to change, this year’s comedy A Million Ways To Die In The West is not only as good as his past work, but also takes it to new heights as we see Seth finally step out of the voice booth and take on a full fledge acting role.
Let’s face it, the main reason you’re thinking of watching this film is for the comedy; and it does not disappoint. You should know the humor is a little different from Ted. Since this is a period piece there won’t be as many pop culture references, but there’s still a few don’t worry.
Ted might have more funny/”I can’t believe they said that” moments, but the laughs in A Million Ways To Die In The West are bigger. There are various moments in the film where you start laughing and you keep laughing for the next several minutes or so. It’s the kind of laughs that make you laugh so much it hurts. In the end, A Million Ways To Die In The West does something few of MacFarlane’s works ever do: portray a clear sustained story.
Anyone who’s watched Family Guy, American Dad or MacFarlane’s other animated shows knows what the story seems like at the start of the episode might not be the actual story throughout the episode. A Million Ways To Die In The West from start to finish is one straightforward and easy to follow story – a man’s quest to find confidence in himself and what he deserves. Now to be fair, Ted also had a story; but A Million Ways To Die In The West’s story is much more relatable than a guy who has to learn to grow up instead of wasting his life smoking pot with his talking teddy bear.
Honestly, I really enjoyed the story in A Million Ways To Die In The West and that is what will keep you coming back. Jokes might get old and surprises might be seen coming, but it’s truly a well-written story that anyone can relate to and might just teach you something – while you’re laughing hysterical.
I don’t think you need anymore convincing to see this film, but just in case, let’s talk about the star-studded cast for a moment. As I said at the start, Seth MacFarlane is amazing in this film and I truly hope he does more films like this. We know he’s hilarious, but seeing his facial expressions adds a new level to his comedy. Funny, good-looking, and able to convey real emotions? Seth needs to be front and center in more films – or at least take the Mel Brooks approach and become a supporting character.
Charlize Theron and Liam Neeson are basically everything you thought they would be: sexy, funny, and badass. Theron somehow goes from really badass gunslinger to the perfect woman in this film – not that we’re surprised. She has some lines in here that are just perfect – and I’m fairly certain I’ll be quoting them from now on. Neeson on the other hand might not have the jokes that others in this film have, but his acting is always second to none. Seeing his no nonsense, straight face approach side by side with MacFarlane is amazing. They are two such completely different characters that their interactions are awkwardly hilarious.
Neil Patrick Harris, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi and Sarah Silverman round out the cast and each add their own greatness to the film. Coming into this film I didn’t know who Giovanni Ribisi was, but he is absolutely hilarious. Sarah Silverman on the other hand is the actress that you always know what you’re going to get; and she doesn’t disappoint. I don’t want to spoil anything, but seeing her dynamic with Ribisi are more amazing than the trailers could ever hint at.
One final note of warning: As I said Neil Patrick Harris is in this film. So if you were expecting there to be a musical number that will be stuck in your head for weeks to come; yah, that happens. We knew in the trailer there’d be something, but the song itself is just glorious. He basically plays an 1880s version of Barney Stinson, so what more could you want?
As I said, the comedy in this film is slightly different than in Ted because there’s more focus on an actual story, but it’s still hilarious. At the very least it’s as funny as Ted. A Million Ways To Die In The West might not beat other films in the quantity of humor, but it absolutely wins in quality of jokes, cast, and story. As for MacFarlane’s classic 80s and pop culture references, there are a few. So stay tuned for my next article, which will spot the best of the best.
PS: Stay for the post credits