After the success of Ted, Seth MacFarlane gives himself his first leading-man role in this hilarious but overlong comedy-Western. The film is clearly a passion project, as it reveals MacFarlane's love of the genre with knowing jokes in between the usual gross-out humour. But it also feels stretched rather thin, and would feel even funnier with a zippier pace and tighter story.
In 1882 Arizona almost anything can kill you. Albert (MacFarlane) is a sheep farmer who has very little respect in his tiny frontier town. His girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) has just dumped him and taken up with smug Moustachery manager Foy (Neal Patrick Harris). And his best pal Edward (Giovanni Ribisi) has issues of his own, determined to wait until marriage to have sex with his fiancee, the town's most popular prostitute Ruth (Sarah Silverman). Then a stranger rides in: Anna (Charlize Theron) is trapped in a marriage to the local outlaw Clinch (Liam Neeson) and needs a place to hide. And in Albert she finds the kind of nice guy she thought didn't actually exist in the West.
MacFarlane's most clever decision was to surround himself with terrific actors who can effortlessly play both comedy and drama. As a result he just about gets away with a performance that doesn't stretch him at all. Theron is especially good, bringing an offhanded humour to her scenes that grounds the entire film. She may roll her eyes at the bad jokes while laughing openly at the good ones, but she stays firmly in character, which makes her scenes with MacFarlane and Neeson crackle with all kinds of romantic energy.
Continue reading: A Million Ways to Die in the West Review
Jason Clark - Celebrities attend Universal Pictures and MRC world premiere "A Million Ways To Die in the West" at Regency Village Theater in Westwood. - Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 16th May 2014
After a childhood wish brought his teddy bear to life, John (Wahlberg) has become inseparable with his buddy Ted (voiced by Macfarlane). But John's girlfriend Lori (Kunis) is starting to think that a 35-year-old man and his fluffy pal should stop living like stoner-slackers. Worried about the foul-mouthed, womanising Ted's influence, she encourages John to make his own way in life, so they can be a proper couple. But separating Ted and John is more difficult than it looks.
Continue reading: Ted Review