A Million Ways to Die in the West

An all-star cast wasted on poop jokes

During the first part of this charmless oater send-up, I found myself thinking it would have had a better shot at success had writer/director/producer Seth MacFarlane cast a real comedic actor in the lead instead of his own zero-charisma, heavily made-up self. You know, someone funny. The film boasts excellent production values and a killer cast that includes Liam Neeson, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Neil Patrick Harris and Sarah Silverman. But by the time it was over (nearly two unforgivably padded hours later!) I realized that no cast, no matter how all-star, could make this flaccid collection of fart, poop, come and piss jokes palatable to anyone but its target audience of pre-teen boys. MacFarlane clearly thinks he’s remaking Mel Brooks’ groundbreaking Blazing Saddles. This is insulting in itself. The movie has only about half a dozen real jokes, but these are retold so often that even the rare amusing ones grow stale before your very eyes. The dialogue feels like a recycled stand-up routine, the characters are wildly inconsistent, and it’s filled with jarring pop-culture observations despite being set in 1882. I used to think MacFarlane was merely annoying. Now I hate the guy. Japanese title: Koya wa Tsuraiyo: Arizona yori Ai wo Komete (116 min)