A Million Ways to Die in the West (Movie Review)

A Million Ways to Die in the WestThis was originally posted on June 1, 2014. This is a reconstruction following database failure.

In the 1880’s, life expectancy was, well, short. Records vary. Some say that the average life expectancy in Great Britain was about 41. Some reports say the average was 50. In the burgeoning Western United States I think 41 would be a good number to go with. Indeed, there were a million ways to die in the west.

This is a Seth MacFarlane trot through the old west. Seth has his own unique brand of comedy, salted with flashbacks, peppered with non sequiturs, and sprinkled with equal portions of lowbrow and highbrow adult humor. He does not fail to deliver in this movie.

It is all based on the main premise, that there are a million ways to die in the west. People drop like flies, often in humorous and unexpected ways. Seth plays a sort of currently modern soul stuck in the old west town of Stump Pile. The girl he has fancied has rejected him. The wife of a notorious gunslinger comes to town and is taken by Albert’s (Seth’s) unassuming, nice personality. Duels will be had.

One thing I like about Mr. MacFarlane is that he is a nerd, he knows it and is proud of it. He manages to put a bit of nerd into the 1880’s, which I very much enjoyed.

The actors all do wonderful jobs. I could write a paragraph trying to plug each of them, so instead I will say that no one skips a beat. Seth is also director and does a good job. There are one or two very brief moments that drag for a second or two, but overall the pacing, cinematography, and editing are well done, and the score fits the bill.

It is a fun, ADULT (R rated) square dance. Note on the R rating – there are lots of deaths, and lots of language. But by some standards it might be considered tame.

Well worth the ticket.

About Sifu Keith Mosher

My new book, "Astro Boy, Sensei, and Me" is available now, as is my Sci-Fi joy ride, "On a Sphere's Edge". I have a Bachelor of Media Arts degree from USC. I have been an Audio Producer / Engineer, a Law Office Manager, and I am currently an Author and a Martial Arts Instructor.
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