I just wanted it to be funnier. More jokes. A bit smarter. A little faster pace. That would have improved A Million Ways To Die In The West.
There have been headlines here and there about the perils of a vanity picture and Seth MacFarlane’s lack of appeal as a leading man. That all sounds a little snippy to me.
I find MacFarlane appealing enough as a cowardly sheep farmer who falls for a gunslinger’s wife (Charlize Theron) and eventually has to stand up to the bad buy (Liam Neeson) on the dusty street in the type of scene common to the genre.
As a Western parody, those types of situations are essentially a requirement.
The funniest parts of the movie belong to Sarah Silverman who plays a prostitute servicing up to 15 men a day who doesn’t have sex with boyfriend, Giovanni Ribisi, because they aren’t married. They are terrific together.
Amanda Seyfried and Neil Patrick Harris also have some good moments as the girl MacFarlane thinks he wants back and the shallow and annoying man she substitutes for the farmer. Why are moustaches so funny? I don’t know, but they certainly can be.
We all know Neeson can play the strong, craggy, flawed man, and here he gets to go a bit further into the territory of the truly unlikeable. It works.
The best thing in the film, by far, is Charlize Theron. More than a luminous beauty, she is a rare talent. And, the scenes she plays with MacFarlane have a sweet playfulness that blows up into something approaching chemistry.
But, it needs more jokes…