Review Roundup: Seth MacFarlane Comedy A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST
'Family Guy' creator Seth MacFarlane steps in front of the camera for the very first time in the new comedy 'A Million Ways to Die in the West', which opened today, May 30th. MacFarlane wrote, directed, and stars in the film.
The plot revolves around sheep farmer Albert (played by MacFarlane), who loses his girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) after withdrawing from a duel out of cowardice. After falling in love with another woman (Charlize Theron) and regaining his courage, he is forced to face face his new love's ex fiancee (Liam Neeson), who seeks revenge against Albert for stealing his ex-wife.
The film features a star-studded cast, including MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Sarah Silverman, and Neil Patrick Harris.
Let's see what the critics had to say!
Stephen Holden, The New York Times: If the plot of "A Million Ways to Die in the West" isn't as helter-skelter as a typical episode of "Family Guy," the movie is really still a live-action spinoff of that cartoon, with different characters.
Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: 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.
Scott Foundas, Variety: 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.
Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: MacFarlane is a very funny dude, and there are times "A Million Ways to Die" is indeed funny. But too often the movie feels half-baked.
Richard Corliss, Time: Now he births A Million Ways to Die in the West, a sagebrush comedy whose visual grandeur and appealing actors get polluted by some astonishingly lazy writing.
Kyle Smith, New York Post: I laughed more at Seth MacFarlane's sendup of '60s Westerns than I did at all the other comedies I've seen this year, combined.
Matt Juul, Boston.com: There's one role MacFarlane hasn't yet mastered, though: being a leading man.
Ben Kendrick, Screen Rant: In general, A Million Ways to Die in the West is a harmless collection of chuckle-worthy gags that should please The Family Guy crowd, but falls short of capturing the same heart and laugh-out-loud moments that made Ted a hit.
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club: MacFarlane's "stoned nerd" shtick can be funny in single doses, but around the movie's halfway point, it becomes clear that he and his Ted and Family Guy co-writers, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, have brought only 30 minutes of material to a two-hour movie.
Scott Mendelson, Forbes: There is plenty to amuse in A Million Ways to Die in the West, but it's not a very good movie. And it's just ambitious enough for that to be genuinely disappointing.