A million reasons to laugh

Times-Herald Editorial Staff
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Seth MacFarlane’s latest film project was one that I was most looking forward to as far as summer movies go.

Samantha Emann

A Million Ways to Die in the West is a funny send-up of classic western movies in Macfarlane’s signature style, featuring quick quips and toilet humour. I was also curious to see Macfarlane in his live-action feature film debut, and he did not disappoint.

In fact, though the ensemble cast was eclectic ranging from stand-up comedians to Oscar-winning actresses, it was quite strong as well.

The movie itself was campy but in a satirical way, similar to Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles.

I thought Charlize Theron and MacFarlane had great on screen chemistry and were very adorable together. Although the film was certainly more about the jokes than the plot, I found myself cheering for the main character and hoping he would get the girl.

I also thought that Liam Neeson was incredibly badass as a cowboy outlaw, though I don’t think there is a way to make him anything other than a badass.

One of the film’s biggest upsides is its who’s who of comedy casting, and the way the film plays to their strengths.

Neil Patrick Harris, for instance, shines in the way only NPH can as a mustachioed womanizer. Any fan of How I Met Your Mother will definitely appreciate this role.

This movie, based on a book also written by Macfarlane, will not disappoint fans of his particular brand or humour: the kind that makes you laugh out loud and sometimes wonder if a line was crossed and you should feel like a horrible person.

I love that about this movie as well as some of MacFarlane’s other projects like Ted and Family Guy.

As far as the comedic cameos go I can’t decide which one I liked more: Gilbert Gottfried as Abraham Lincoln or Bill Maher as, essentially, himself.

As has come to be expected the soundtrack to this movie deserves a nod as well if only for the Indiana Jones-flavoured nostalgia it inspired.

However, though there was a dance number to a song I still cannot get out of my head, the only thing that disappointed me was the lack of any musical numbers from the talented principal cast.

I can understand why MacFarlane might not want to pull out what people might perceive as his go-to way of showing off his triple threat status, but I also think it was a definite waste of both his and NPH’s considerable vocal talents not to have them do at least one musical number together.

As far as a stars I would like to see do a musical number I can’t think of many other duos I would want to see perform together more. Not to mention they weren’t the only musically inclined members of the cast, as Amanda Seyfried appeared in Les Miserables recently.

Overall the movie was fun, hilarious and definitely lived up to this avid moviegoer’s expectations.

I can forgive the lack of singing because of its smart, quick-witted, line-crossing humour and ability to be so realistic and campy at the same time. It was like watching an old western film that also portrayed the less glamorous side of the western frontier old Hollywood steered away from.

It is only fitting that I review a movie about the western frontier for a community that was part of Canada’s western frontier. Anyone interested in learning interesting trivia about the old West while simultaneously laughing until it hurts will enjoy this movie.

Organizations: Family Guy

Geographic location: Hollywood, Canada

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