A Million Ways to Die in the West

Seth MacFarlane struck gold in 2012 when he directed Ted. The crude, stupid and intermittently hilarious film was a blockbuster, grossing over $200 Million domestically. But that starred Mark Wahlberg, and until that point MacFarlane was mostly known as a voice actor. But now that he’s hosted the academy awards and put his face out there, he’s starring in his own movie, A Million Ways to Die in the West. It’s hoping to have that Ted magic, and now there’s a new red band trailer for it.

And we’re not going to lie, there’s some laughs here, though the film has been selling some of the same jokes since the first trailer. People die violently and for no reason, which ties it into the sort of pointless gross outs that are often a fallback joke for most of MacFarlane’s shows and films. But there are laughs. Here’s that trailer:

The big question mark with this is if MacFarlane can transition into leading man. Here’s he got a love interest in Charlize Theron, and he’s also giving Liam Neeson a chance to play with his image as a big tough guy. Perhaps he’ll get some mileage out of that. But though MacFarlance has a face that looks like it’s been scrubbed clean, it’s unknown if he has the facility to convey emotion in interesting ways as there’s a sense that MacFarlane’s character is aware of the joke. This could be a great comedy, perhaps on par with Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles, or it could be the ultimate vanity project of someone with just enough success casting themselves in a film only to prove that they’re better off behind the camera. We’ll know soon enough as the film will be hitting theaters May 30.

Did you love Ted?