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A Million Ways to Die in the West

A Million Ways to Die in the West could possibly be one of the most offensive movies I have see in a long time. There is something in this movie to offend each and every sensibility. With that being said, it is also the funniest movie that I have seen in a long time.

(image courtesy of empireonline.com)

(image courtesy of empireonline.com)

This movie is the story of a sheep farmer in 1880’s Arizona. He hates the west and often lists things in the west that will kill a person. He lists your known threats like guns, snakes, and wild animals but also goes further to list gastrointestinal illnesses and conditions. This man, Albert Stark, loves Louise, played by Amanda Seyfried. After Albert backs out of a duel with a local rancher, Louise leaves him and takes up with the local owner of the Moustachery, Foy. As any man would do, Albert falls into a funk that his friends are unable to rouse him from. Albert eventually begins palling around with Charlize Theron’s character, Anna.

In a different time, this movie would have been a family friendly PG movie starring Don Knotts. That movie would have been awesome and become a classic. Even today, this movie could have become a normal movie starring Steve Carrell or Will Ferrel and made a bunch of money without many of the jokes and a much more serious third act. As it is, this movie is not any of those things. At no point does the film “play-it-safe.” The jokes are often uncomfortable. One of the things that I appreciated is that there were only two pop-culture related jokes; one of which felt a little forced while the second one was organic and probably gave me the best laugh of the night.

As I mentioned, this is a disgusting movie. There are sex jokes, poop jokes, racial jokes, drug jokes, and penis jokes. They all work. Seth MacFarlane is good as the lead in the movie that he also produced, wrote, directed, and might have catered. (The guy is multi-talented.) Giovanni Ribisi and Neil Patrick Harris are also good. The most surprising cast member was Sarah SIlverman. I am normally not a fan of hers but she was able to portray a slutty innocence that was almost endearing.

After all is said and done, this movie will not change the world but it will make you laugh. You might be ashamed of some of the things that you laugh at afterwards, but you still laughed. Laughter is a reflex and in many ways uncontrollable. While I did not care for Ted, only mildly enjoy Family Guy, and hated Dads with an all consuming passion, I still like MacFarlane and look forward to his future endeavors.

On the sliding scale of how this movie was, out of five being the best and one being the worst, I would give it a solid 4 dead hobos. A Million Ways to Die in the West opens everywhere May 30.