Crass reimagining the history of the United States
Rude adult comedy isn’t always my jam, but I enjoy a well-written and executed expletive-laden game. Especially if it’s lively, at the family guy Where Archer. But even more so if it is an outrageously satirical look at history, commenting on the growth of a nation, or lack thereof. But when you combine that with a disregard for any sort of continuity, history appropriate to the time, or general respect for actual historical figures, you get America: the movie. So look at my spoiler America: the movie browse to get an idea of what to expect, if you run the risk of adding this one to your Netflix queue.
America, the movie is crude and crude of sorts. And intentionally so.
Where to buy these shirts, Netflix ?! | Image via Netflix.
The animated film opens with a massacre during the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The historic betrayal of Benedict Arnold (Andy Samberg) is amplified in this opening scene, as the Red Coats brutally murder, basically, every one of America’s Founding Fathers. The only ones absent from the scene are best friends George Washington (Channing Tatum) and Abraham Lincoln (Will Forte), as they attend a show. In a theater. Oh yeah, the movie is totally going to go there, and it’s weird. In fact, this is all a little weird.
After Lincoln’s bloody bloody death by Arnold, who now turns out to be a werewolf (I don’t know why), Washington is on the warpath. However, he soon realizes that he is over his head. So the previously directionless thug finds a purpose in life, avenging his friend and realizing his lifelong ambition of a united America. But he needs help to lead this revolution against the British. That’s really what the movie is. It’s a team-up flick by numbers that sees Washington recruit some of the greatest figures in history to kick Britain’s butt. And all in a very crass and vulgar way, all while shooting new invented beers and being racist.
This America: The Motion Picture Review Has Some Spoilers
Talk about pony rides. | Image via Netflix.
It’s hard to see again America: the movie without going into spoilers. Although it’s less about what happens and the story, but more about how it happens. And also, in a way, the why. But it’s hard to find meaning in the story. It’s meant to be a very unsubtle comedy featuring reimagined versions of America’s greatest heroes, crammed together in surprising and unexpected ways. But trying to find a purpose in America: the movie is probably unnecessary. Especially since it’s not really meant to be, substantial.
Creators of Archer and produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, America: the movie is just plain silly fun. It’s an outrageous story that sometimes gets too complacent and too referential, but when the jokes land, it’s pretty fun! And that’s largely because of the pretty impressive voice cast.
The voice cast is as crazy as the movie
Join the M. Smith team! | Image via Netflix.
Tatum himself is the head of this star cast of so-called revolutionaries. Reunion with her 21, rue du saut directors, Tatum is quite offbeat here. He portrays Washington as an insecure and selfish reveler. It’s the rascal with the heart of gold who must take up the challenge, kind of trope we’ve seen many times before. Brotherly Samuel Adams, played by Jason Mantzoukas, joins him. The chemistry between them is quite palpable and hilarious. Things get weird when a female Thomas Edison (Olivia Munn) joins the group. With a Native American in the iconic Geronimo (Raoul Max Trujillo), and a black blacksmith named Blacksmith (Killer Mike). I really can not. Given the time these characters come from, the elements of women’s rights, diversity, and racism are pretty risky, but they sort of work as well. Occasionally. Among others.
What works and what doesn’t in this animated adult fare
Nobody wins in ‘Nam! | Image via Netflix.
Now a word of warning, America: the movie brutally kills historical figures with blood and blood. There are insane amounts of inappropriate jokes at the expense of women, minorities and other underrepresented communities. While the majority of these jokes revolve around the fact that under-representation of these communities was the norm at the time, it remains a bit shocking. And maybe triggering for some. But it’s really Seth MacFarlane’s kind of comedy, so if you like it you’ll be in it. It’s absolutely shock and awe-inspiring and totally intentional.
The stuff that works in America The Movie, is when the film pokes fun at America itself and the current state of one of the greatest nations in the world. The political satire and criticism of what the country has done with its hard-fought freedom is really what makes the film shine. But it’s almost always undermined with the most free items. All in all, the new animated film is truly a quick and fun watch, one that is best enjoyed without too much analysis, at the risk of squeezing its pearls of despair. And if adult-themed vulgar comedy isn’t something you like, you’re probably better off skipping that altogether.
America: the movie is now streaming on Netflix.
What did you think of the new adult satirical animated comedy? Let me know in the comments below.
Featured image via Netflix.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (according to him), host of the Split Screen podcast (on Apple podcasts and everywhere else), and film dad on a mission to educate his daughters over decades of history of cinema. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah adores discussing content from movies, television, and comics until his wife’s eyes turn glassy. So save her by engaging her on her own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or Twitter @theshahshahid.