By Charly SHELTON
Not everyone likes “Family Guy” humor – the cutaways, the crude language, the non-sequiturs. But you have to admit that the social commentary of some of those jokes is very apt. That is perhaps the best summation of “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane’s new movie, “A Million Ways to Die in the West.”
Coming off the success of his first feature film “Ted” in 2012, MacFarlane’s next venture is a comedy western in the style of “Blazing Saddles,” and, boy, does he push the envelope. Many TV shows that transition to the big screen tend to take it too far with obscene humor just because they can. Luckily, MacFarlane knows better than to make a “Family Guy” movie, and instead uses the same style of humor and a few of the same cast members to make new movies unrelated to his successful animated TV comedy.
In “A Million Ways,” MacFarlane stars as Albert Stark, a rancher and coward. The movie opens with him trying to talk his way out of a gunfight showdown at high noon. From there it only gets more comical, with explanations of why the west is so terrible, cutaway bits and just hilarious one-liners from MacFarlane. He stars opposite Charlize Theron as the gun slinging beauty from the frontier. The two have such amazing chemistry together that it is hard to believe that they are not actually falling in love. MacFarlane is great as a leading man, albeit an unconventional one.
Albert’s best friends are prostitute Sarah Silverman and her super clean Christian boyfriend Giovanni Ribisi. They accept that her job is just that – a job – and have no problem being together, although they have decided to wait until marriage to consummate their relationship. It’s what God would want.
The humor is irreverent, outlandish and hilarious. But it’s not for everyone. Some people have been put off by the intensely crude humor, specifically a scene involving Neil Patrick Harris and a series of ruined hats. But for those who aren’t offended by crudeness or un-politically correct jokes, this is the movie for you. It has beautiful women, gun fighting, comedy and even some surprise cameos that aren’t expected (unless you saw the trailer).
Rated R, for a good reason. Sexuality, mild violence and crude/obscene humor abound in this, one of the funniest movies of our generation. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.