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America: The Motion Picture


America: The Motion Picture
Don't let the pretentious title fool you...American history is stomped on, twisted inside out, and mangled beyond recognition in an off-the-wall and politically incorrect , animated laugh riot from Netflix called America: The Motion Picture, which in the tradition of proven farceurs like Seth MacFarlane and Matt Groening, takes no prisoners, breaks all the rules, and works tirelessly to shock and offend. The demographic for this film seems to be anyone who flunked history class in high school.

In this 2021 hot mess, we are first introduced to childhood friends George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, whose lifelong friendship leads to their battle to defeat the British, who they refer to as the Fun Police, because of their stupid rules. Their battle to defeat the British is stalled when George and Abe go to the Ford Theater to see the Red, White, and Blue Man Group and Abe is brutally murdered by Benedict Arnold, stooge of the mighty King George. An inconsolable George returns to Mt Vernon and after having sex with wife, Martha, is inspired to continue the battle for freedom with the aid of Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Geronimo, and Thomas Edison (who is now a woman).

Yes, strap yourself in for one of the bizarre animated adventures ever presented onscreen as director Matt Thompson and screenwriter Dave Callahan have turned America History inside out and turned it into a marvel comic movie, where nothing happens the way it did in history and all concepts of logic and credibility are thrown out the window, stretching the powers of animation to the nth degree while giving us a disjointed look at just about every period of American history you can think of, except they've decided to throw out all the facts and just make us laugh.

The film features adult language and themes (including a graphic sex scene between George and Martha Washington) and moves at a lightning pace, which turns out to be a detriment to the proceedings. There's so much clever and funny stuff going on here that it's absolutely impossible to catch it all. I doubt even repeat viewings would help. The British "rules" are briefly posted on a wall and I was laughing so hard as I started reading that I didn't even get to read them all. George Washington is given chainsaw hands and Benedict Arnold is a werewolf transformer, head to head in a climactic battle set to the tune of "You've Got a Fight for your Right (to Party)". This is a rare example of a story that could have been allowed to unfold a little more slowly.

The animation is bold and brassy and the unabashed violence that unfolds here is unprecedented, but forgiven because it's animated. There is standout voice work from Channing Tatum as George Washington, Andy Samberg as Benedict Arnold, Will Forte as Abe Lincoln, and Jason Mantzoukas as Sam Adams. A definite "put your brain in check and enjoy" animated acid trip, the like of which you'll never see. I could definitely see this someday becoming a midnight movie house cult classic like The Rocky Horror Picture Show.