It’s an old proverb that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But those that were half asleep during history class might come up with a different way of retelling it. That’s the quickest way of describing Netflix’s latest adult animated film America the Motion Picture.
America the Motion Picture is an outlandish comedy that is “inspired” by history. With the creative team that has worked on Archer, Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, The Expendables, and Magic Mike. Viewers can expect a comedy that is uniquely paced, quick-witted, blunt, and have you laughing at the absurdity.
In 1776 America didn’t exist yet but was ready to declare its Independence until Benedict Arnold (voiced by Andy Sandberg) destroys the Continental Congress. Now the only person to stand against King James(voiced by Simon Pegg) is Abraham Lincoln (voiced by Will Forte). After Lincoln is assassinated, the fate of America now lies with George Washington (voiced by Channing Tatum) and his arm-mounted chainsaws. Washington creates a team with frat bro Sam Adams (voiced by Jason Mantzoukes), Horsemen Paul Revere (voice by Bobby Moynihan), scientist Thomas Edison (voiced by Oliva Munn), and the greatest tracker Geronimo (voiced by Raoul Max Trujillo) to defeat the British and create this great new land called America.
As the movie progresses jokes are made about controversial issues that rage to this day. The Second Amendment, to Racism, to the Vietnam War, are all on the table. Writer Dave Callaham, who wrote the screenplay for Mortal Kombat and wrote for the upcoming Shang-Ch, crafted a balanced story that embraces the outlandish world that is the setting of the movie. The jokes are used to cover what is America at its core. At times it feels like Team America World Police was such an influence. So if you were able to laugh through that then you will surely get a laugh from America the Motion Picture.
Now please note that this is an adult animated movie. Viewers can expect foul language, brief nudity, implied sex, and gore galore. So parents please take note of these themes and determine if they are right for your kids to watch.
The animation style is something new to Netflix, as their original 2D library that isn’t Anime isn’t that deep. It feels like it would be featured on Adult Swim. It seems to be inspired by the traditional Western action styles. Overly buff, barrel-chested men, that punch first and ask questions later. That does make it unique from other animations on the platform.
The action sequences all flow smoothly. Given that Floyd County Productions helped with producing this film, makes the action, comedy, and dialog fit perfectly. This is the production studio that has helped make Archer since 2009. This is also another way to describe this animation style. It’s like Archer but with softer colors. Where the heavy lines in Archer can make it like a moving comic and stiff at times, America the Motion Picture is softer with the shadows and line work.
Do you just want to watch something dumb and fun? Are you ok with a WILDLY historically inaccurate telling of the founding of America? Do you just want something different? Then I would give America The Motion Picture a shot. It’s a solid 3 out of 5. It’s completely wrong with how it handles the subject of history, but you’ll be laughing along the way.