Sunday, May 29, 2016


Welcome to another installment of the TRASH BIN, where we watch the worst movies Hollywood has to offer, according to the critics.  This week's pick is the Seth MacFarlane western-comedy...A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST.

Now, let me start things off by saying that I actually enjoyed this film.  Yes, it has some pretty stupid parts, but that was more than made up for by the amount of fun and laughter this film gave me.  Seth MacFarlane, the brilliant mind behind Ted, Ted 2, and the hit animated series Family Guy, dove into the realm of the western-comedy, and despite what the critics, and much of the audience had to say, I liked it.

The film follows cowardly sheep farmer, Albert (Seth MacFarlane), who loses his girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) after backing out of a gun fight.  He then saves the life of a beautiful and mysterious woman (Charlize Theron), who shows him how to be confident and courageous.  But when a dangerous outlaw (Liam Neeson) arrives in town, he must use that courage to save the day or die trying.

Seth MacFarlane wrote, directed, produced, and starred in this humorous riff on a Blazing Saddles-type comedy where everything in the Old West is out to kill you, even the doctors.  He provided some great laughs, a few touching moments, and some unforgettable cameos.  In his first live-action leading role, MacFarlane showed that he's not just a voice, but, at times, can hold his own with great actors like Charlize Theron, Neil Patrick Harris, and Liam Neeson.  Unfortunately, the times that didn't work were a bit jarring.

Speaking of this great cast, A Million Ways... managed to bring together a stellar group of talented actors including Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman, and MacFarlane's Family Guy co-star, Alex Borstein.

Seyfried plays Albert's fickle girlfriend, Louise, who leaves him for mustache enthusiast, Foy, played by the incredible Neil Patrick Harris.  Neil's performance is wonderful, like he channeled an Old West version of his How I Met Your Mother character, Barney Stinson, going as far as even using one of his classic lines from the show.  Giovanni Ribisi plays Albert's dim-witted best friend, Edward, who is always there for him.  Edward's prostitute girlfriend, Ruth, is played by comedian Sarah Silverman, and together these two have an amazing comedic chemistry.  Everytime they are on screen, something hilarious is right around the corner.

Charlize Theron plays the beautiful and mysterious Anna, who teaches him what it is to be a man.  I thought she gave a decent comedic performance, as it's not something you usually see from her.  And then there's Liam Neeson as badass outlaw, Clinch Leatherwood.  He definitely fits in as a tough-as-nails cowboy in the Old West, and it's always a pleasant surprise to see him in a comedy, even if it's just a cameo like in Anchorman 2, or a voice like in The LEGO Movie.

After seeing Ted, I was excited to hear that MacFarlane was doing another film, and once I saw the trailer for the first time (the red band trailer to be specific), I was all in.  That trailer had me laughing so much that I had to watch it several times in a row.  And the film definitely delivered for me.  I was laughing throughout the entire film.

There were a few slow points though, which were most likely due to its somewhat long runtime for a comedy (almost two hours), and there was a few moments where I said to myself "why would they do that?", but I was never bored, nor did I ever lose my entertainment.  it currently holds an IMDb score of 6.1/10, a Metascore of 44 and a Rotten Tomatoes critic score of 33%, which I can understand why.  This film is no Ted, but it's still definitely worth a watch if you're into MacFarlane's style of comedy.  You may love it, you may hate it, you may fall somewhere in between, but if you haven't seen it, give it a may surprise you.

The Merc's Score:  6.5/10

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