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

Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale Co-Star in WWI Docudrama

  The Promise DVD Review by Kam Williams Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale Co-Star in WWI Docudrama It's Eastern Turkey in 1914, which is where we find druggist Mikael Boghosian (Oscar Isaac) plying his trade in his half-Armenian/half-Turkish village where Christians and Muslims get along swell. The ambitious, young apothecary would really … [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

Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide

  Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide by Amy Lignor   Much like the political realm, there will always be debates and disagreements when it comes to the technological realm—especially when it comes to your health versus the almighty cellphone. Now, it is a fact that communication in the 21st century literally brought about a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Choosing Binoculars for the Ultimate 2017 Hunt

  Choosing Binoculars for the Ultimate 2017 Hunt   Any hunter will tell you the most important choices to make when going for that ultimate successful hunt comes from the little things. Yes, the guns, the location for the hunt, the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Esports on a Meteoric Rise in 2017

  Esports on a Meteoric Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   Okay…we all know that football is America’s favorite sport. Or…is it? NASCAR has a wide following. People still love to go to the ballpark in the lazy summer days to watch a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Is Social Media Still Growing?

  Is Social Media Still Growing? by Amy Lignor   It was in 1999, Bill Gates wrote a book titled, “Business @ the Speed of Thought.” Within these pages, the man who became the computer world’s wizard made massively bold predictions … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Vacation Locations: Knowledge is Fun Too!

  Vacation Locations: Knowledge is Fun Too! by Amy Lignor   Most children (and adults, too) will either roll their eyes or sigh when, while speaking about vacation locations, the word “learning” just happens to be mentioned. Yes, it … [Read More its Good for You...]