Does Seth MacFarlane's new comedy western A Million Ways to Die in the West have critics rolling on the floor laughing?
The new film, out today, has an impressive cast that includes Charlize Theron, Neil Patrick Harris, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Sarah Silverman and Giovanni Ribisi. Besides the cast, the Family Guy and Ted creator not only stars in the movie, but also wrote, directed and produced it!
So does the film deliver a load of laughs? Here are what critics are saying about A Million Ways to Die in the West.
• "The saddles don't blaze in A Million Ways to Die in the West, and the pacing is limper than a three-legged horse," proclaims Variety's Scott Foundas. "In following up his 2012 smash Ted with a lavish comic Western, Seth MacFarlane has delivered a flaccid all-star farce that's handsomely dressed up with nowhere to go for most of its padded two-hour running time."
• EW's Chris Nashawaty gives the flick a B rating along with a pretty favorable review. "MacFarlane, who wrote the script with Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, keeps the gags flying like hot lead out of a Colt .45. And for every three that don't land, one or two hit the bullseye," he writes. "There are probably a few too many lazy fart and diarrhea jokes for some, but 14-year-old boys will love it. And while the self-satisfied MacFarlane may give himself a little too much credit and face time as a leading man (I couldn't help thinking he looks like Peter Brady, and his knack for laughing at his own gags is slightly grating), Theron displays a stunning set of razor-sharp comedic chops that she's rarely been given the chance to show off. It suits her as well as the bustle gown she wears to the local hoedown. 'Why are the Indians so mad?' she asks at one point. 'We're basically splitting the country 50/50 with them!'"
• The New York Daily News compliments the movie as "amusing" but says the biggest problem with the film is that MacFarlane cast himself in the lead role. "MacFarlane has corralled a great cast, which makes it especially disappointing that the movie's merely OK," write Elizabeth Weitman, adding, "But all these first-rate performers are pushed to the sidelines so the movie's creator can also be its undisputed leading man. Unfortunately, he doesn't yet have the generosity required to build any real connections: to the character, his co-stars or the audience, which is left with a giant hole where there should be some heart."
• The L.A. Times also applauds the flick's impressive cast, writing, "The filmmaker is lucky to have such a swell cast, one game for the various humiliations visited upon them to get those laughs. Led by Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron, excellent even in the worst circumstances…her pistol-packing Anna pretty much saves the movie, when she's not saving her man."
• "While MacFarlane's Albert is forgettable at best, the film also suffers from lazy, clichéd writing that relies too heavily on shocking sight gags and scatalogical humor," claims Boston.com. "The irony is that some of the movie's biggest laughs are disgusting, gross-out scenes, such as Harris's Foy uncontrollably defecating in a hat or when a giant block of ice decapitates a laborer."