The one person who gets the balance right, weighing parody and homage, is the composer, Joel McNeely, whose opening theme stirs hopes and memories that the movie cannot match.
A Million Ways to Die in the West feels like about 80 minutes of material was padded out to 110 minutes.
The movie, which MacFarlane directed and cowrote with Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, is clever about its anachronisms. You stay surprised.
In A Million Ways to Die in the West, director-star Seth MacFarlane builds an imposing, affectionate reconstruction of the American movie West, then defaces it with funny mustaches -- often literally.
If you measure a comedy by how many times you laughed, Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West, at least for me, is a middling success.
But for all its hit-and-miss jokes, there are lots of ways to die laughing at this Western raunchfest.
Some of the gags do land - maybe one in four. But the genre-parody genre with big stars and poop jokes needs a little more class than MacFarlane is capable of providing.
Yes, there are a million ways to die in the west. Boredom shouldn't be one of them.
A failure on nearly every level, "A Million Ways to Die in the West" almost approaches so-bad-you-need-to-see-it categorization.