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A Million Ways to Die in the West (Koya wa Tsurai yo: Arizona Yori ai o Komete)
Rating
Director Seth MacFarlane
Language English
Opens Oct. 10

If a movie as lazy and uninspired as “A Million Ways to Die in the West” can get horrible press, bad word of mouth and still make its money back at the box office, then we’re doomed. “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane’s follow-up to his debut film “Ted” is basically another vehicle for his usual borderline-offensive sense of humor, but set in the Old West. Good parodies show a keen eye for the material they are sending up, but MacFarlane’s knowledge of the genre doesn’t seem to extend beyond The Three Stooges’ “Out West.”

Magnifying problems is the onset of MacFarlane’s Woody Allen complex, where he’s no longer just the comic talent behind the camera, but also the dweeby leading man who gets the fantastic-looking girl. He plays a cowardly sheep rancher named Albert who’s dumped by his girlfriend, Louise (Amanda Seyfried); when he rashly challenges her new paramour, Foy (Neil Patrick Harris), to a duel, it’s up to gunslinger-babe Anna (Charlize Theron) to get him up to speed. There are flashes of MacFarlane’s unique sense of absurdity here and there (Foy’s mustache-obsession, an Abraham Lincoln cameo), but the bulk of the film is filled with tired scatological jokes.

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