A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014) Netflix
“Bring protection”. See, this I like! Double entendrees do it for me as much as poorly checked French sayings.
Premise: MacFarlane plays Wild West sheep farmer Albert. He's called cowardly in the IMDb synopsis, but that's a bit simplistic. Not that A Million Ways to Die in the West is in anyway complex. But we'll get to that. It's the Wild West, there's jokes. So many jokes.
Delivery: “Why are the Indians so mad? I mean we're basically splitting the country fifty-fifty with them.”
Do you like Family Guy? Do you like westerns? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then A Million Ways to Die in the West is the film for you!
Boasting exactly the same humour as Family Guy, A Million Ways to Die in the West is essentially a live action spin off. Except that the new setting and format freshen up MacFarlane's treasure trove of hilarious tropes. Yes it is a bit on the infantile side, but who cares? Somehow the Farrelly brothers had a career, and this is more cerebral than that. Which admittedly isn't hard.
A Million Ways to Die in the West has a huge cast of bona-fide comedy actors, and Charlize Theron. It is not lacking for talent, and it was nice to see Alex Borstein, AKA Louis Griffin, in the flesh. Liam Neeson, Sarah Silverman and Giovanni Ribisi all sell their roles well. But the real reason anyone watches A Million Ways to Die in the West is because they want to laugh.
It was never going to have the mass/ critical appeal of Blazing Saddles, but A Million Ways to Die in the West is a gratifying watch. All of the comedy stems from MacFarlane's Albert, and his inability to fit into the environment he's in. He's our hilarious tour guide in this weird, wacky Westworld. The set up is not groundbreaking, but the rewatch value is immense due to the joke rate. As reliable as buses anywhere in the world except London, there's a zinger every few seconds.
Yes, I know that's London-centric; I went to the waste of a day NHS prejudice course. Bloody hippies.
MacFarlane's live action films have been a little bit derided, though Ted was obviously financially viable enough to green light a sequel. A Million Ways to Die in the West is the best of what he's done so far, and I rather enjoyed Ted. The way he uses the Wild West to comment on today, and vice versa, is a gold mine of laughs. It's long but the funny doesn't really fade.
If you can, seek out the uncut version. It's more offensive, but then you like a bit of that don't you, you cunt.
Bedsit it? It's bubble gum, yes. Marmite bubble gum. Just for the amount of times I've been able to sit through A Million Ways to Die in the West amused, and the fact that I like Marmite, I have to put it up as far as 8/10.