There is no type of movie worse than a bad comedy. Unfortunately A Million Ways to Die in the West, falls into that category. A bad drama is still watchable. A bad horror movie can actually end up being fun. But a bad comedy is unwatchable.
It is especially disappointing since the movie has real potential. It stars and was written and directed by Seth McFarlane, the creator of Family Guy.
The basic story could be interesting. Seth’s character, Albert Stark, is a very likable and intelligent reasonable man who is a sheep farmer in the old west. However, the old west is no place for intelligent reasonable people. It is a very good premise for a comedy and the movie starts off well.
There are two main problems. The first is that the movie trailer, (which was repeated endlessly in theaters and commercials) showed every good joke in the entire film. By the time you see the movie all the good jokes have already been given away. It would be as if the commercials for Jaws had shown the shark over and over until it was not the lest bit scary anymore.
The second problem is that the humor is crude to the maximum. Of course, you know that anything from the creator of Family Guy and Ted is going to use crude humor. However, crude is not always the same thing as funny. For example there is a five minute scene of one of the characters having diarrhea in the middle of the street.
It is unfortunate that McFarlane chose to go crude to the max, since the movie did not need it. The cast is made up of excellent characters. The love interest is the beautiful Charlize Theron. There is real on-screen chemistry between Theron and McFarlane and in off-screen interviews the two seem to genuinely like each other very much
Charlize plays the wife of the bad guy Liam Neeson. He finds out that someone has been seeing his wife and of course wants kill the man. Neeson plays a great bad guy and this time did it with his full blown North Ireland accent.
The set up was great, the characters are interesting and it could have been an excellent comedy. If McFarlane had just toned down the crudeness and let the comedy come naturally to the story it would have worked. Instead the laughs are forced and the movie comes across more like a series of comedy skits than a feature-length film.
It was good try for Mcfarlane and we hope that he will take a lesson from the problems of this movie and go on to make the great work of which we are sure he is capable.
Unfortunately we can only this movie 1 Star, which is our lowest rating.