May 28, 2021
On the podcast this week, Steven and Sean are trying to win ourselves a girl. Oh, if we only had a mustache! This week, it’s Seth MacFarlane’s 2014 film, A Million Ways to Die in the West.
Okay, quick, let’s get the plot of this thing out of the way. Ahem. There’s Albert, a man who lives in the Old West, but hates that time because everything—literally everything—is trying to kill you. Who would want to live in a place like that? His best friend is named Edward, who’s in a relationship with a selectively prudish prostitute. He’s in love with someone who doesn’t love him back because of how he feels about the time. What, he doesn’t want to shoot guns and he runs a sheep farm? He’s not much of a man. He meets a beautiful woman named Anna. She’s in a relationship, albeit a terrible one that she wants out of, with the most fearsome gunman in the West, Clinch. What’s a person like Albert to do, except fall in love with Anna, prove that he’s at least somewhat capable gun handler, and gets the girl in the end.
Reductive? Sure, but then there’s not a huge amount of depth to this story. However, I don’t think there needs to be. This isn’t Casablanca, dang it. It’s a film where people die from farts, doctors are more likely to kill patients than save them, and others unleash vile torrents of feces into hats.
This film knows exactly what it is, and we love it for that.
That’s what makes this a peculiar B-movie bonus episode. On the one hand, the film currently has a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s clearly not a film with a particularly great or important story. To take a critical look at this film is to ensure it’s a blunder of a film.
I think that would be a mistake, though. This isn’t a film that’s trying to be anything more than it is. That is to say, it’s not trying to have much substance. It’s trying to bring some humor into our damn lives, especially at a time when the world isn’t feeling too great. Sometimes we just need some foolish escapism, with low stakes and Neil Patrick Freaking Harris doing a song-and-dance number about mustaches.
In that way, this film is a… masterpiece? Yeah, why not?
(Recorded on April 05, 2021)
Links to Stuff We Mentioned:
Our Libsyn site!