A Million Ways To Die In The West [Blu-ray] Seth MacFarlane
Published Oct 07, 2014Given that A Million Ways To Die In The West died at the box office and how the smarmy charms of Seth MacFarlane have a way of frequently rubbing people the wrong way, the film's actually a surprisingly fun Western comedy, if you can keep an open mind. With a supremely talented cast filling out every role, there are more than enough good gags amongst the steady stream of them to keep the action consistently funny.
In addition to directing the followup to his talking bear hit Ted, MacFarlane also steps in front of the camera as Albert, a meek sheep farmer who wasn't made for the harsh climate of the late 19th century, where death lurks at every turn. He's just been left by his girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) for a guy whose masculinity lies almost entirely in his moustache (Neil Patrick Harris) when he meets Anna (Charlize Theron), a beautiful woman who's secretly hiding out in the town of Old Stump waiting for her outlaw husband Clinch (Liam Neeson).
Anna predictably starts to warm to Albert, as she tries to toughen him up and teach him to shoot in advance of an upcoming duel to win his ex-girlfriend back. But with the intimidating presence of Clinch threatening to reappear at any moment and put an end to their burgeoning romance, it starts to become evident who the real enemy is that Albert will have to face.
MacFarlane's experience in animation with shows like Family Guy and American Dad comes in handy, as his broad and raunchy sensibilities lend themselves well here to the Western genre. His presence is so well-suited to the part of Albert that he doesn't need to stretch his limited acting range too much, but it's Theron who really proves her comic chops and displays good chemistry in her scenes with MacFarlane. Rounding out the impressive cast is Giovanni Ribisi, as Albert's chaste best friend Edward, and Sarah Silverman as the bubbly prostitute with whom Edward's waiting until marriage to consummate their relationship.
Along with an unrated cut that includes a few worthwhile additional scenes, the release features some nice supplemental material. A couple of lively documentaries highlight the experience of shooting in the beautiful but unforgiving Monument Valley, while a gag reel offers the usual pleasures of takes being ruined by the actors laughing or MacFarlane's cell phone continuously going off. Best of all, though, is the commentary track, in which MacFarlane, Theron and co-writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild dissect everything with the same kind of acerbic humour that makes the film so enjoyable in the first place.