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Film review: A Million Ways to Die in the West

Family Guy creator’s latest, co-starring Charlize Theron and Liam Neeson, is rude but reliable.
A handout movie still showing Anna (CHARLIZE THERON) and Albert (SETH MACFARLANE) try not to die at the fair in A Million Ways to Die in the West, the new comedy from director, producer and co-writer MacFarlane, who plays a formerly cowardly sheep farmer who must put his newfound courage to the test. (Courtesy: Universal Pictures)
A handout movie still showing Anna (CHARLIZE THERON) and Albert (SETH MACFARLANE) try not to die at the fair in A Million Ways to Die in the West, the new comedy from director, producer and co-writer MacFarlane, who plays a formerly cowardly sheep farmer who must put his newfound courage to the test. (Courtesy: Universal Pictures)

Director: Seth MacFarlane

Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson

Three stars

Seth MacFarlane plays a cowardly farmer in the Old West who falls for a tough but beautiful woman (Charlize Theron) and then must summon his new-found courage to fight her former husband (Liam Neeson). If you’ve seen any of the Family Guy creator’s work, you will know what to expect. Now that he’s given a bigger budget, bigger stars and a looser rein for vulgarity, the film takes a machine-gun approach to gags, with many hitting the target. It’s perhaps a little less focused than his previous film, 2012’s Ted, with a feeling that the story is merely filling time between prat falls and sheep gags (there are many). Ultimately, the comic timing of those involved (particularly Theron, who has a surprising knack for deadpan) means the film may take odd twists and turns, but it is a journey worth taking.

Updated: May 28, 2014 04:00 AM

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