The trailers for the film are compelling. Perhaps that is why it has been nominated for the Golden Trailer Award. And there is no denying the thoroughly stunning beauty of its female lead Charlize Theron. It also quickly became clear to me that much of the film was shot in Monument Valley, one of God’s most spectacular works of natural art in America’s southwest. But when all is said and done “A Million Ways to Die in the West” while entertaining and funny does come up just a wee bit short.
The story is written by Seth MacFarlane with Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, directed by Seth MacFarlane and produced by Seth MacFarlane along with Jason Clark and Scott Stuber. Therefore it would be fair to call “A Million Ways to Die in the West” a Seth MacFarlane film all the way.
The story is of a clearly out of place rather wimpy sheep farmer and his new found love, the wife of the most infamous gun slinger in the west. One of the key elements throughout the film is the idea that the Old West was one extremely dangerous place and time. We see photographers blow up, an ice delivery man crushed and a medicine man trampled by a raging bull. These sight gags are perfectly executed and absolutely hilarious.
My only objection Seth is why in your mind is it necessary to the story or to the humor to have such a wide use of foul language and occasionally an uncomfortable degree of sexual innuendo? The content as presented earned the film a solid R rating. With just a little bit of effort on polishing the content MacFarlane could have produced an even funnier film and reached a broader audience.
All that said and subject to the admonishments “A Million Ways to Die in the West” Is indeed funny and entertaining a decent summer popcorn movie.