Reviews of Way Out West
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(Originally written June 21, 2007)
It’s a shame that Sons of the Desert is Laurel and Hardy’s most recognized film because Way Out West is much funnier and more creative. My favorite films by the duo involve the two earnestly attempting to complete a task, but they inevitably suck at everything they do, and any success they have is out of sheer luck. It’s the absurdity of the circumstances that makes this movie so great. The jokes are not bound by the constraints of reality, adding to the originality of the film. Some of the best jokes in the film include Stan being able to light his thumb on fire like a match, Ollie’s neck being stretched out as Stan pulls him out of a hole in the ground, Stan having to eat Ollie’s hat after losing a bet, and, the absolute funniest bit in the picture, a donkey that flies in the air when put up against the weight of Ollie Hardy. The story is also engaging, with the comprehensively inept duo striving toward an honest goal. They were supposed to deliver a deed to a gold mine to the daughter of a recently deceased man, but after being conned into giving the deed to the wrong person, they wage war to make sure the wealth ends up in the right hands. More than anything, this film is just fun to watch because of the interaction between Laurel and Hardy. They do not get along with each other, and the two of them do not get along with the rest of the world. The Music Box and Way Out West are fantastic because of the dissonance they build up between Laurel and Hardy on one hand, and the rest of the world on the other.
- Currently 4.0/5 Stars.