1. Think about how much of an indictment it is to say, "All the good jokes are in the trailer" about a movie. Trailers, at most, are three minutes long. A Million Ways to Die in the West runs 116 minutes. That is a ton of time to comb through to dig out a Family Guy-esque gag about running into Emmet Brown and his DeLorean, and Seth MacFarlane being hit in the head with a plate. It makes you appreciate the job of a trailer editor. What must he or she have thought? "Shit, I gotta pull something together out of this?"
2. A Million Ways to Die in the West is the type of movie in which you find yourself counting the number of times you laugh. I ended up at three. To be fair, had I not seen the flux capacitor joke in the trailers, there might have been four. The movie is poorly written (the title is explicitly stated in dialogue at least four times), poorly directed, and poorly conceived from the outset. It takes skilled actors and strands them with nothing to do—a particular shame, because I personally would love to see what people like Charlize Theron and Liam Neeson could do if they were in a comedy. Because they're not in one here.
3. At this point, I should probably mention that I—to some renown in these parts—did not like Ted, Seth MacFarlane's hit 2012 comedy about a racist teddy bear who smoked weed. I still don't think that movie's any good, but it is Young Frankenstein compared to A Million Ways to Die in the West. I think what's most surprising about this movie is how weirdly slack it is when it comes to actually making jokes. You see "Seth MacFarlane makes a faux Western," and you expect it to be packed with gags, overflowing with fart jokes and pop-culture references. But no, MacFarlane, sort of insanely, wants us to take this seriously. There's a love story, and sappy dialogue played entirely straight, and full multiple-minute scenes in which Neeson terrorizes the citizenry without a joke to be had. MacFarlane keeps changing his mind whether or not he's sending all this up, which makes the movie just limp from scene to scene. (Even the musical number feels half-hearted.) I might not like his comedy, but with Ted, you had to at least appreciate his commitment to throwing every potential joke at the wall without much concern over how many of them landed. Here, the joke-to-running-time ratio is dangerously low. It's like he couldn't be bothered.