The Daily Stream: ‘America: The Motion Picture’ is a Raucous Blast of Historical Nonsense

The Daily Stream: ‘America: The Motion Picture’ is a Raucous Blast of Historical Nonsense

(Welcome to The Daily Stream, an ongoing series in which the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching, why it’s worth checking out, and where you can stream it.)

The Movie: America: The Motion Picture

Where You Can Stream It: Netflix

The Pitch: In a totally insane version of American history, a chainsaw-wielding George Washington assembles a team of rabble-rousers — including beer-loving bro Sam Adams, famed female scientist Thomas Edison, acclaimed horseman Paul Revere, and a very pissed off Geronimo — to defeat Benedict Arnold and King James in the totally true and not at all exaggerated story of the American Revolution.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: Independence Day is coming up this weekend, and there’s no better way to celebrate the freedom of America than by watching a completely nonsensical blockbuster account of how this great nation came to exist. Even though this might seem like the kind of jingoistic entertainment we don’t need after having four years of complete buffoonery in the White House, this is a raucously hilarious, tongue-in-cheek presentation of America’s history that’s full of over-the-top violence, vulgarity, and plenty of stupid laughs.

If you haven’t seen any of the trailers for America: The Motion Picture, let me paint a picture for you. Abraham Lincoln (Will Forte) and George Washington (Channing Tatum) attend a performance of Red, White and Blue Man Group at Ford’s Theatre (complete with the logo of the automaker), which is also playing movies like Our American Cousin Vinny and Snakes on a Carriage. During the show, Benedict Arnold (Andy Samberg) shows up, turns into a werewolf, and kills Abraham Lincoln, and his funeral is attended by Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, and Theodore Roosevelt, who is comforting Franklin D. Roosevelt in his wheelchair. This is the kind of goofy history we’re talking about, and it only gets more absurd from there.

With a mix of The Avengers, The Expendables, Team America: World Police, and Archer, Netflix’s America: The Motion Picture is silly satire that comes with plenty of Star Wars references, explosions, and an irreverent approach to anything and everything from America’s history. Don’t expect a lot of poignant social commentary to permeate the proceedings, though the ending does attempt to make up for all the intentionally exaggerated patriotism throughout while also mocking many of the mistakes we’ve made over the years.

If you need any more convincing to see this gut-busting movie directed by Archer producer Matt Thompson and written by The Expendables scribe Dave Callaham, the rest of the voice cast is stellar. There’s Simon Pegg as a King James that acts as a combination of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, Bobby Moynihan as Paul Revere, Raoul Trujillo as Geronimo, Jason Mantzoukas as Sam Adams, Judy Greer as Martha Dandridge, and Olivia Munn as a gender-swapped Thomas Edison. Just throw it on and enjoy the weekend, folks.

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