America: The Motion Picture

A chainsaw-wielding George Washington teams with beer-loving bro Sam Adams to take down the Brits in a tongue-in-cheek riff on the American Revolution.

Year: 2021
Certificate: 15
Runtime: 1hr 38m
Director: Matt Thompson
Starring: Channing TatumJason MantzoukasOlivia MunnAndy SambergBobby MoynihanJudy GreerWill ForteRaoul TrujilloKiller MikeSimon Pegg

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As it’s the 4th of July tomorrow we thought we would do a special review for you to help celebrate and what better way to do that than to mock us Brits and our tea-drinking, wonky-toothed, funny accents in the brand new animated comedy film “America: The Motion Picture”. The film is directed by Archer’s executive producer Matt Thompson with The LEGO Movie’s Phil Lord and Christopher Miller also on board – so that should give you an idea of the kind of comedy to expect.

“America: The Motion Picture” is based on actual history, in much the same way that Donald Trump’s presidency was based on actual facts. The film opens with the Founding Fathers signing the Declaration of Independence which ends up being destroyed by the turncoat Benedict Arnold (Andy Samberg) who then heads off to find Abraham Lincoln (Will Forte). Lincoln is found at the theatre with his best bud George Washington (Channing Tatum) and when Arnold succeeds in killing Honest Abe, Washington realises that it is his destiny to rally up a resistance and create an independent America. Oh, he also has chainsaws attached to his arms.

We see Washington getting his crew together which includes beer-loving party boy Sam Adams (Jason Mantzoukas), an Asian-female Thomas Edison (Olivia Munn), a somewhat odd Paul Revere (Bobby Moynihan) who was raised by horses, a rather fed-up Geronimo (Raoul Trujillo), and a very woke John Henry (Killer Mike).

From the outset you know the film is going to be silly and it really doesn’t take itself seriously. There are dick-jokes, f-bombs and explosions galore. The cultural references are all over the place and there are lots of historical jokes and amusing word-play thrown in along with a number of more recent pop-culture jokes – both spoken and visual. Star Wars, Robocop, John Wick and more are all parodied in some form along with some self-deprecating bits about American history (Vietnam) and culture (their love of guns). But my favourite part of the film is, as a Brit, the fact that they play into the British stereotype that we all have wonky teeth and love to drink tea. So much so that the tea is the Brit’s secret weapon to fending off those pesky revolutionaries. The ‘British people are always the bad guys’ trope also comes into play and with Simon Pegg as King James, this is pulled off quite well.

As the story goes on, we see Washington and his team, along with his wife Martha (Judy Greer), working out how to defeat Arnold and King James while also overcoming some in-fighting and all with the help of a spectral Abraham Lincoln. It’s hardly a spoiler to say that in the end America gains its independence from Britain but it would be if I go into more detail about how Washington and crew achieve it.

Needless to say, while this is a somewhat low-brow film and has a definite puerile ‘college kids’ feel to it with the humour, there is still something in it for everyone if you like over the top silliness with a historical theme. It’s one that I will definitely rewatch as I’m pretty sure I will have missed a few background jokes and references.

Well done America. You beat us – but I do think you cheated a bit with your chainsaw hands…

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About MaFt

Film and TV fan, creator of New On Netflix (UK, USA, Australia and Canada), dad of two amazing children, code geek and passionate about autism.

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