For me, it was hard to settle into the genre that Brooks has molded over time. The first half hour of the film creates the western setting for the film. We see a chain-gang working on a railroad in the middle of nowhere. We see vast landscapes, saloons, and small-towns in the western setting of the properly-titled film. However, the script shows us right away that this is not a typical western genre. Offensive racial terms are dropped here and there, without any sign of remorse. It's as if the offensive words were never outlawed by society. After the first half hour, we finally get to see the redeeming trait of the film, the bromance between Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory) and Cleavon Little (Vanishing Point). Both of these actors carry the film forward, progressing a storyline that constantly changes.
The storyline remains interesting for the full runtime, because of how unpredictable it is. Nothing really makes sense, but the plot is still linear. It's as if Brooks had no idea of where he wanted to take the film. From the very start, we are introduced to oddball characters that are not worth remembering because they only show up once or twice. Rather than being a clear narrative, Blazing Saddles is an hour-and-a-half of improv filmmaking. While it may not be for me, I do acknowledge that Brooks has defined his own genre throughout his career.
The Bottom Line: It is hard to relate with a comedy as obscure as this one, but the cast helps progress the story with likable and unlikable characters meshed together.