I’m going to be totally honest here. I like Family Guy. True, it often relies on pop culture references over actual jokes, but I believe that sometimes, sometimes, a pop culture reference can in and of itself be funny. I imagine writing Family Guy being a stream of consciousness sort of thing, where Seth just writes whatever pops into his head and then connects it all. Hey, by the way, that Seth guy has a new movie out, doesn’t he?
These critics are of course, wrong. The film, while certainly not amazing, is a very strong comedy with some good acting, great set pieces, and quite a few good laughs. It’s not as good as its spiritual predecessor, Blazing Saddles, but it’s still a delightful romp that is out to prove that Seth MacFarlane doesn’t care what you have to say.
Normally, when reviewing a movie, I’d list a few of the questions that I pondered while watching it, even though you wouldn’t understand the questions if you hadn’t seen the movie and if you had, you wouldn’t be reading the review, but honestly, I don’t have any questions. First of all, this obviously isn’t a very plot-driven film, second, there’s not that much plot anyway, and third, what little plot there is is pretty airtight. And I rarely say that about a film. Off the top of my head, I really can’t think of anything that didn’t make sense.
Of course, this being a MacFarlane movie, there are a lot of scenes that aren’t super relevant, but the reason it works in this movie is that, once again, this is a very joke-driven film. The plot isn’t really all that important. The only scene that had me scratching my head was the Back to the Future scene, which was in the trailer. I really expected that time machine to come up again at the end of the movie, as a deus ex machina or a final little nod at the very end. The final nod at the end turned out to be even better, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Unlike the other throwaway scenes in the movie, this one was never even mentioned again, not even in MacFarlane’s drug-induced hallucination later on. It just came and went. Doc even said “Great Scott,” as though he had just thought of a problem or solution to an existing problem, but nope. Never again. One and done.
Anyway, the scene at the end. Early on in the movie, there was a carnival game where you had to shoot the runaway slaves. This was meant to introduce us to Charlize Theron’s character, as well as establish that MacFarlane was a terrible shot. So, after the big “THE END” flashes and everything’s happily ever after, we fade out. Then, we fade back in to the runaway slave game. A man steps up to play a round. The camera pans up, and guess who it is. Just guess.
And I do mean Jamie Foxx. As Django. From Django Unchained. He proceeds to shoot the announcer before looking at the camera and stating the catchphrase from the trailer:
“People die at the fair.”
Now, that’s one of the finest endings in film history, but let’s think about what it means for a second. This ties A Million Ways to Die in the West into the Tarantino-Rodriguez universe, which means that it takes place in the same universe as Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, Grindhouse, and Spy Kids. Yeah, also Spy Kids takes place in the Tarantino-Rodriguez universe, in case you didn’t know that. That’s pretty interesting right there, but it also means that Back to the Future takes place in the Tarantino-Rodriguez universe. Now, the interesting thing about that is that it means that the Tarantino universe was significantly altered at some point in the 80s. This leads to the question of whether or not Marty McFly’s actions led to the actions depicted in Tarantino and Rodriguez’s films. The answer to that is a resounding yes.
So overall, I give this movie a B+. Yeah, it dragged quite a bit and the humor was often immature, but other than that, no complaints. More stuff coming later on. Like if you like, favorite if you favorite, follow if you follow, follow me on Twitter @BreakingPOORLY, and as always…