Seth MacFarlane’s brand of comedy is not for all tastes. Regardless of that, his successes continue to outweigh any misfires he may have had. Taking a cancelled show and not only getting it back on the air but to create two spin-off shows to boot, MacFarlane has become a big name in today’s comedy world. When his first feature length film “Ted” debuted, it only expanded his brand and became a huge success. Finally, MacFarlane and his writing team have returned to the big screen to lampoon an old genre.
“A Million Ways to Die in the West” stars writer/producer/director/star Seth MacFarlane as a meager sheep farmer named Albert in Arizona 1882. When he refuses to hold his ground and engage in a dual fitting of The Olde West, his girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) leaves him. Brokenhearted, Albert aims to leave town. However, a newcomer to the town (Charlize Theron) gives him a newfound sense of confidence and joy. Trouble is, the vicious outlaw Clinch (Liam Neeson) isn’t far behind.
One thing MacFarlane’s sense of humor has never done is go less than 100%. Regardless of how uncomfortable or cringeworthy the jokes may be, it is always an all-out affair. This style has seen a great deal of popularity in recent years as Judd Apatow’s films and his associates have redefined comedies. If anything, MacFarlane is the missing member of the group, creating loveable characters in completely absurd scenarios.
This new film, coupled with “Ted” (and the sequel being filmed this summer), MacFarlane has quickly ascended to the most logical heir to the type of empire Mel Brooks had in his heyday. By creating parody and farce out of tired tropes, MacFarlane could easily become a satirist that could do what all those god-awful “Disaster Movie,” “Epic Movie,” etc. spit out.
“A Million Ways to Die in the West” is easily the most laugh-out-loud comedy of the year. Littered with cameos and much more jokes than contained in the trailers, MacFarlane has succeeded in avoiding a sophomore slump on his second studio picture. And it seems MacFarlane has yet to reach his full potential; a notion that is quite exciting. 4 out of 5 stars
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