It has been well over a month since A Million Ways to Die in the West has been released on DVD and perhaps the home entertainment reaction to the film will be a bit better than the welcome that Seth MacFarlane’s version of what could be described as the modern Paleface got on its initial release. The creative genius behind television’s Family Guy and American Dad as well as the big screen Mark Wahlberg comedy Ted, was not overly praised by film critics with his “scatter shot” film, as stated by Rotten Tomatoes, but box office receipts prove that the film was not that bad, making over twice its production costs.
Despite the fact that I am not a huge fan of Amanda Seyfried (and to be honest, I couldn’t really tell you why. I’ve just never connected with her as a performer) I really enjoyed this critically mauled film. I can only think that the critics panned this film on its release because it had not been screened for them.
Jill (Seyfried) and Molly (Wickersham) are sisters who share a house together. Molly is a recovering alcoholic and Jill is recovering from a nervous breakdown. Her breakdown came about after she escaped a serial killer.
After Jill and Molly have an argument, Jill goes to work. She is a waitress at a local diner. While she’s at work one of her customers leaves her a very generous tip. She thinks it’s odd and she asks her friend Sharon (Carpenter) if she knows who the guy is. Sharon says that he is regular customer and that he is always a heavy tipper.
When Jill gets home, Molly is missing. Her car is in the driveway and personal things are still in the house. Panicked, she calls the police and when they fail to take her seriously she goes down to the station.
She meets new detective Peter Hood (Bentley) and she tells him and the other detectives about Molly’s disappearance. The police don’t believe her when she says that Molly is missing and they tell her to wait for them to call her. Hood says that he believes her and gives her his phone number.
The other detectives explain to Hood that Jill was allegedly kidnapped and held in a national forest. She escaped and told the police what had happened but she couldn’t find the place where her kidnapper had kept her. After searching for days, the police give up deciding that Jill has made the whole thing up.
Jill spent a long time in an institution as a result and the towns people believe that she has mental problems. Despite the police not acting on her information and going so far as to get Molly’s boyfriend to lie to Jill about her sister returning (when clearly she has not) Jill doesn’t give up looking for her sister.
This film played out very well. Seyfried is convincing as the highly strung and nervous ‘victim’ who becomes more determined to find out what has happened to her sister when no-one will come to her aid.
Gone really is Seyfried’s film. Carpenter, Wickersham, and Bentley really don’t have a lot to do in the film. Their parts almost felt like extended cameos rather than full supporting roles. The plot has few twists and turns, but it really doesn’t need many.
Even though this film was obviously shot on a smaller budget, it looked and felt like a big budget film. It was interesting enough and filmed well enough that I never had to suspend my disbelief too much.
I’d say that a final verdict of one big bag of popcorn and regular Coke would be just right. It’s not so exciting that you set on the edge of your seat and shovel popcorn in your mouth non stop. It is definitely worth a look, even if you’re not an Amanda Seyfried fan.
- Amanda Seyfried dating ‘Dexter’ star Desmond Harrington? (digitalspy.co.uk)
- Film Review of Gone: Four Door Locks and Four Skeptical Police, One Serial Killer, and Two Sisters with Separate Vehicles in Modern-day Portland, Oregon (socyberty.com)
- Oscars Red Carpet: Amanda Seyfried (fabsugar.com)
- Amanda Seyfried & Katherine Heigl: ‘Big Wedding’ Trailer! (justjared.com)
- Actress a Day: Amanda Seyfried (thefilmexperience.net)
- Amanda Seyfried – Crush of the Day (1340thefan.com)
- Amanda Seyfried – Tony Awards 2012 Red Carpet (justjared.com)
- Love or Hate: Amanda Seyfried in Givenchy at the Tony Awards (myfashionlife.com)