MacFarlane is Albert Clark, a sheep farmer that chickens out of an showdown with a vicious gunfighter and loses his girlfriend, Louise (played blandly by Amanda Seyfield) in the process. He goes on a old-fashioned bender and finds himself whining about how bad it is in the West. The first time, it's hilarious. The next 15 times, it was like the town drunk was given a soapbox and he never stopped drinking.
Meanwhile, Clinch Leatherwood (Liam Neeson), the most vicious gunfighter in the West. The most vicious gunfighter in the...okay! Seth, we got it. He's having marital problems with his wife, Anna (Charlize Theron) with just one bullet to a old-timer. Anna runs off and moves into the town where Albert lives. A romance begins to spark after they meet Louise's new beau (with a mustache), Foy (Neil Patrick Harris) who wants to have a showdown for the bland hand, big eyed, hand of Louise.
MacFarlane wants this to Family Guy Goes West, but the problem with it is his brand of foul mouthed, pop culture style humor doesn't mix in with the wild, wild western culture. Obviously, he doesn't like the West. He drones on and on about how bad the West is. However, he delivers it as a cynic who doesn't want to embrace it but complain over, over, over (15 min later)...and over. See? It gets a bit annoying.
Theron and Neeson nail their parts nicely. Theron is a wisecracking, gun-toting beauty that knows how to take care of herself and even has nice chemistry with MacFarlane. Neeson nails down a gruff, shoot-first, talk-later gunfighter and owns the screen when he appears. As for Seyfield, she once again continues to prove that she's just a pretty face who can't generate any appeal or charisma towards any of her characters. I have seen her films and for an actress, she's a good singer. The supporting cast as a whole is wasted where you witness Sarah Silverman become...unfunny. I know it's a shock, it was a shock to me too.
We do get some beautiful cinematography and awe-inspiring shots of Arizona but when MacFarlane's humor continues to get in the way, it takes away the western feel. Like someone trying to become the Mel Brooks of this generation. That's the first thing you definitely don't do, try to be Mel Brooks. Nobody can be Mel Brooks. Don't get me wrong, in this foul mouthed, fart joked heavy comedy is sprinkles of a good western.
Even though I applaud Joel McNeely's score giving us the epic sound of how a western sounds and MacFarlane can still pull off a good dance number, but when you are contemplating walking out of the theater more than once, you know this is a disappointment (with a good musical number).
A Million Ways to Die in the West wants to be a cross between Tombstone and Blazing Saddles but it ends up being a convoluted mess that's satirical ideas are executed poorly while wasting a good cast. It's The Lone Ranger of 2014 and one of the worst of the year.