Review – Hey, Bro! It’s Like, ‘Merica! (“America: The Motion Picture”)

What if you took a look at the history of the United States around 1776 through the eyes of Rick & Morty, South Park, Family Guy and drawn in the animation style (and with the subversive wit) of Archer? You’d get this hilarious, raunchy, and blood-soaked alt-history lesson that has to be seen to be believed!

Be prepared for a completely unbelievable, utterly ridiculous, and just plain crazy version of the events of 1776, our Founding Fathers, and certain other historical figures. Nothing can prepare you for this retelling of history except. . . forget everything you know and just go with it! We open with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a momentous occasion that is celebrated by John Hancock and the boys with a rousing game of beer pong! Oh yeah, it just gets weirder from here on out. Suddenly, Benedict Arnold (voiced by Andy Samberg) bursts in with his British troops and kills everyone in the room, blows up Congress, and then proceeds to Ford’s Theater to kill a nutty Abraham Lincoln (Will Forte), who has a bromance with George Washington (Channing Tatum).

But does Arnold shoot Lincoln? Nope! He morphs into a werewolf (!!!) and rips out Lincoln’s throat and then steals the Declaration, only to rip it up in George’s face! This drives George crazy and, with his wife’s advice, he forms an “Avengers” team to defeat Arnold and the grossly fat King James (Simon Pegg), who is getting around on a hovercraft like Emperor Palatine. George enlists Sam Adams (Jason Mantzoukas), an over-the-top frat boy, man-child Paul Revere (Bobby Moynihan) and his super-hero horse, level-headed Native American Geronimo (Raoul Trujillo), a Chinese-American female scientist–like Tony Stark–whose name is Thomas Edison (Olivia Munn), and mega-buffed blacksmith, John Henry (rapper Killer Mike).

In order to stop the lycanthrope Arnold, they must secure enough silver to make a silver bullet to kill him, but that’s just the tip of the plot iceberg. There is SO much other lunacy, I don’t know where to begin. Nothing makes sense in this alternate universe, but I guess that’s just the point. George’s lusty, busty wife, Martha (Judy Greer–who also voices the lusty, busty Cheryl on Archer) wails on an electric Flying V guitar, there are no cars, only horses and horse-drawn carriages that are decked out like Cadillacs! Even the Titanic shows up!

The outrageous, truly silly screenplay by David Callaham (Zombieland 2: Double Tap, Ant-Man) is just like an episode of Archer, where George is a complete doofus but with amazing fighting skills (he packs twin chain saws he keeps hidden up his sleeves!) and he’s surrounded by much smarter and braver ‘friends’ that do the real work for him, for which he’ll take full credit for it afterwards, thank you very much.   

There are numerous fights that always end in blood ‘n’ guts strewn & splashed everywhere, clever puns laid upon double & triple entendres, and SO many self-referential jokes you can’t keep count of them all. Don’t even TRY to point out all the historical inaccuracies, ’cause that’s the point. The movie also rips off Star Wars (episodes 4, 5 & 6) with hilariously rapid-pace dialogue and some terrific voice-over talent that just adds to the mayhem. It’s no wonder as Matt Thompson not only directed this movie, but TV’s Archer as well! Weird, odd, and wonderfully unlike anything I’ve seen in along time, except for Team America: World Police. 

**Now streaming exclusively on Netflix  

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