‘Million Ways’ could have done with less MacFarlane
I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve been a fan of “Family Guy” for as long as I can remember. I was a fan when it was canceled in 2001. I was a fan when I was probably too young to watching such a show. So even through I’ve been hearing the show’s creator’s voice for nearly 15 years, it’s still alien to me to actually see Seth MacFarlane in person. To me, he’s just a voice attached to a multitude of characters, including the titular character from his last movie, “Ted.” To see him slingin’ bullets, drinking mystic Indian concoctions and being the hero in the white hat is just … strange. Maybe that’s why, even after all the laughter and adorable storyline, I find it hard to like “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” MacFarlane’s latest film, starring, written and directed by him.
The problem, I think, centers around perception. It’s one thing to watch a bumbling idiot be foul-mouthed and infantile in his humor when he’s animated. It’s another thing altogether to watch MacFarland stumble around the Old West, clearly out of place, and be foul-mouthed and infantile. If I wanted to see that, I could watch him host the Oscars again.
But it’s more than that. It’s more than the fact that the clean-cut, pearly-whited-toothed MacFarlane is strikingly out of place in a comedy about the Old West, or that everyone is incredibly too clean. Even the crude humor and incessant stream of curse words has its place. Really, I think it’s MacFarlane himself who’s out of place, whose role is more distracting than fulfilling, leaving us hoping maybe he’ll be shot and put out of our misery.
Two gun-slingin’ stars out of five.