There are no complaints from me that this film adds the much-missed aural texture of horses’ hooves to some lush cinematography of the rich red rocks and deep blue skies of Monument Valley.

But, given that it’s billed as a film from ‘the guy who brought you Ted’ (2012), you know it won’t be an authentic trip down Western Lane.

Just one that throws every rude gag imaginable at the revered John Ford and Sergio Leone era which created stars like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.

Given that he’s the writer, director, producer, co-writer and star, Seth MacFarlane is the man to blame – or praise – depending on your point of view.

Audiences high on popcorn fumes will laugh along at the smut. But, at its core, this is a spiritually empty vessel trying to make a lot of box office noise. Blazing Saddles (1974) or Cat Ballou (1965) it ain’t.


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MacFarlane plays a farmer called Albert whose cowardice leads girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) to leave him for another man.

In the meantime, he falls for Anna (Charlize Theron), wife of feared, no-nonsense killer Clinch (Liam Neeson) who eventually comes looking for trouble.

People die purely for laughs in lots of unexpected ways and the female stars, including Sarah Silverman (Ruth) gamely play along with the sex jokes.

Crucially, MacFarlane’s out-of-context modern face never looks authentic in this rustic environment because that’s the joke!

In 2007, Neeson starred in the 1860s revenge thriller Seraphim Falls with Pierce Brosnan only to somehow gross less than £1m worldwide.

As every wild west sheep in a Seth MacFarlane box office hit will bleat, size counts.