I love me some Seth MacFarlane. So when I saw a preview of A Million Ways to Die in the West, I knew I had to see it. I had a sort of unexpected Friday night off, so I indulged myself.
If you have ever wanted to see Seth MacFarlane get pissed on, this is your movie. The incident takes place during a pivotal scene during the movie. The movie is funny, sweet, and of course, gross.
MacFarlane looks like he's 10 years old. He is amazingly adorable, playing a character a guy who is rather humble (a sheep farmer who lives with his parents) and heartbroken because his girlfriend, played by Amanda Seyfried, breaks up with him. She eventually hooks up with Foy, played by Neil Patrick Harrris, as a suave asshole. Albert feels inadequate because he doesn't make very much, and Foy has his own business, a mustache salon, if you really want to get down to it.
Much is made that the old West was a dangerous place to be. MacFarlane points this out in several ways, and his character, Albert is griping all the time about how horrifying it all is. Combined with his girlfriend dumping him, his life doesn't seem worth living.
Enter a group of bad guys, led by Liam Neeson. Charlize Theron plays his wife. Through a series of mishaps, Anna, the bad guy's wife, befriends Albert and teaches him how to shoot, after being humiliated at the fair. "People die at the fair," says Albert, to Anna, as they walk around the fairgrounds, complete with plastic pennants, even though it's 1880-whatever. Anna is a great target shooter, and convinces Foy to bet on her, which he loses. It's a whopping dollar, which is a huge sum back in those days. "Take your hat off boy, that's a dollar bill," says an extra to a young man, when Foy brings out the dollar bill.
There's the obligatory saloon fight, where Albert and his best friend, Edward, played by Giovanni Ribisi pretend to fistfight so they don't get hurt in the brawl. Sarah Silverman plays a sweet hooker who is Edward's girlfriend. Edward hasn't had premarital sex with Sarah, because they are Christians and are saving themselves for marriage. Edward isn't upset that Sarah is having sex all day with various men.
Anna helps Albert get the self-confidence he needs. And he does need it, seeing as that he's been hanging out with a woman who is married to Clinch, played by Neeson. Clinch is a real bad guy, and even though Albert and Anna are just friends, Albert falls in love with her.
Albert is grossed out by Foy in their shootout scene.
Albert asks Anna to the dance, the night before his duel with Foy.
Albert runs into an indian gang, who provide insight and drugs. He drinks the entire bowl of whatever, which he was just supposed to sip, then pass on. The indians kid him about dying, but not before he goes on an amazing drug trip, featuring dancing sheep.
There is, of course, a reference to Blazing Saddles. This movie I thought was well done. MacFarlane puts together a good story with humor. Some of it is gross-out humor (sheep piss, diarrhea) but it's Seth MacFarlane: what do you expect?
I laughed out loud a lot in this movie. Some of the language is too modern for the times, but that adds to the humor. MacFarlane comes across as a sensitive guy who can actually act. This is one flick I wouldn't mind seeing again. Of course, Seth being Seth, there's a dance scene with music and song. But this movie really points out some truths: it really WAS dangerous back in the west, and when you have a 35 year life span, it's understandable that people get married at age nine, as Anna did to Clinch. If you are a Family Guy fan, you won't be disappointed. And MacFarlane has never looked better, or more adorable.