Google+

MacFarlane Spoofs Westerns in Relentlessly-Crude, Mean-Spirited Comedy

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Film Review by Kam Williams

MacFarlane Spoofs Westerns in Relentlessly-Crude, Mean-Spirited Comedy

117878_gal           It seems like Seth MacFarlane must have been inspired by Blazing Saddles (1974) to make a more outrageous spoof of the Western genre. For instance, where the Mel Brooks classic featured cowboys farting after eating beans around a campfire, this time, ingesting the legume leads to cowboy hats filled with diarrhea. He even pays homage to Blazing Saddles with the help of Jamie Foxx in a cameo, though you have to sit through all the closing credit to hear him utter a famous line from the film.

 

MacFarlane wrote, directed and stars in A Million Ways to Die in the West, though he’s often dwarfed by the talented actors he surrounded himself with. The cast includes Oscar-winners Foxx (for Ray) and Charlize Theron (for Monster), and nominee Liam Neeson (for Schindler’s List), along with Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman, Giovanni Ribisi, Bill Mahre, Christopher Lloyd, Gilbert Gottfried, Ewan McGregorand Ryan Reynolds.

 

The movie merely has the semblance of a storyline, since that is ostensibly of far less import than the punch lines peppering the production. In that regard, the picture resembles Family Guy, MacFarlane’s animated TV sitcom which eschews depth in favor of a string of raunchy one-liners and mean-spirited sight gags.

 

His diehard fans will undoubtedly be ready for that politically-incorrect brand of humor. However, uninitiated audience members are apt to be as offended by the use of the slur “yellow” (to mean cowardly) in reference to Asians as they are shocked by the sight of carnival patrons taking shots at black figurines rotating around a “Runaway Slave” arcade game.

 

Then there’s the matter of crude sexuality and gratuitous nudity. Ever think you’d see Liam Neeson lying naked with a daisy stuck in his anal cleft? How about a fountain of urine being created by a circle of peeing sheep, penises prominently unsheathed? Neither did I.

 

As for the rudimentary plot, the tale unfolds in Arizona in 1882 in a desert town whose main street is dotted with such stereotypical storefronts as the saloon, jail, livery, hotel and whorehouse. At the point of departure, we find nerdy Albert (MacFarlane) being dumped by girlfriend Louise (Seyfried) in favor of Foy (Harris), a sniveling lout with a Snidely Whiplash mustache.

 

The jilted shepherd cries on the shoulder of a mysterious newcomer (Theron) to the frontier only to learn that she’s married to Clinch Leatherwood (Neeson), a jealous outlaw with a reputation which precedes him. The tension mounts when already smitten Albert is challenged to a duel and must summon up some courage if he’s to ride off into the sunset victoriously with the girl.

 

Will he rise to the occasion? I doubt the pat resolution matters as much to creator MacFarlane as incessantly appealing to the lowest common denominator. The Old West re-imagined as fodder for the coarsest of gross-out fare!

 

Fair (1 star)

Rated R for violence, drug use, crude humor, graphic sexuality, ethnic slurs and pervasive profanity

In English and Apache with subtitles

Running time: 116 minutes

Distributor: Universal Pictures

 

 

 

Entertainment

Top Ten DVD List for August 22, 2017

  This Week’s DVD Releases by Kam Williams Top Ten DVD List for August 22, 2017                       Nova: Poisoned Water [Flint, Michigan Expose'] https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071HG59CK/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 [Marvel Comics Superheroes … [Read More its Good For You...]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of. I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is […]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Nazis Coming to Your Town? Who You Gonna Call? The Klanbuster!

  Daryle Lamont Jenkins The “Charlottesville” Interview with Kam Williams Nazis Coming to Your Town? Who You Gonna Call? The Klanbuster! Since 1988, activist/journalist Daryle Lamont Jenkins, aka "The Klanbuster," has dedicated his life to monitoring the movements of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups. In 2000, he … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Girls Trip! Head to South Louisiana for Food, Fishing, and Culture

Girls Trip! Head to South Louisiana for Food, Fishing, and Culture By Craig Lamb Ah, the New Orleans French Quarter. The sound of jazz coming from Preservation Hall. The taste of fresh beignets and café au lait at Café du Monde. Art galleries and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

College Football Arriving Soon!

  College Football Arriving Soon! by Amy Lignor   Ask any college football fan and they will tell you that it seems like an eternity waiting for the season to begin. But, have no fear, the kick-off to the college season is almost … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

The New Airline Fare to Avoid: Basic Economy

  The New Airline Fare to Avoid: Basic Economy by Amy Lignor   Whether on business or going on vacation, buying airline tickets in this day and age is getting more difficult. The most recent term in airfares is “Basic Economy.” Now, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation

  Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation by Amy Lignor   Many people love taking a cruise. But it is the river cruise on that glorious steamboat that not only offers all the benefits a big ocean liner offers, but also … [Read More its Good for You...]