A Million Ways To Die In The West is said to be both hilariously funny and in horrible taste and it is both.
What is most surprising is that it is also, and I hate this word but it’s the only one that fits, sweet.
The relationship between Seth MacFarlane and Charlize Theron is so restrained and gentle, and the Theron character is so impossibly likable and kind, despite her backstory, that she is psychologically impossible, and the return to raunchiness when they are off-screen was really unwelcome, to me, even when it was very funny.
The treatment of prostitute Sarah Silverman and her fiancé Giovanni Ribisi as Christians seemed borderline offensive even to me, as did the over plus of human waste in solid, liquid and vaporous forms.
But there was a lot of subtlety too, like the man carrying the scythe for farming in Monument Valley, as well as a few careless touches like discrepancies involving distances between the pursuers and the pursued in a railroad bit.
Language was unashamedly anachronistic, with “What’s up kiddo” and “My job sucks” representative of Arizona in 1880, and in general, writer-director Seth MacFarlane is refreshingly unconcerned about making realistic sense when movie clichés, western and otherwise, will do.
Those who can stand being occasionally offended will be rewarded with a lot of fun and an unexpected ration of charm.
The mix isn’t entirely successful because the sequences with MacFarlane and Theron are so strong and Long-held that they almost become the norm, which makes the gross sections intrusive, at least to me.
Maybe I’m just getting old, but the current absorption with the alimentary canal muses me just so much and for just so long.
Almost everything in A Million Ways To Die In The West is well done, but I prefer some things more than others.