Starring: Channing Tatum, Jason Mantzoukas, Olivia Munn
Director: Matt Thompson
Running Time: 98 mins
America: The Motion Picture is an American film about George Washington, a man who decides to assemble a team of heroes to fight off the villainous British King James, leading to the establishment of a brand new country, the United States of America.
This is such a trashy movie, but that might just be its biggest charm. I still can’t quite figure out whether America: The Motion Picture is an unbearably juvenile watch or a masterpiece of parody, warping American history to hilariously unrecognisable extremes.
Let’s start with the obvious. Leave all your knowledge of American history at the door with this movie, and don’t even try to draw parallels with what really happened in the lead up to independence and whatever madness happens in this movie.
The story follows a laddish George Washington who seeks revenge on Benedict Arnold after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Again, there’s no logic to the story here, but there are parts of the movie which are delightfully offbeat, and a hilariously weird alternate vision of American history.
To enjoy it all, however, you really have to turn your brain off, sit back and let the movie just happen to you. The film at first tries to be sharp and witty with satirical parallels to modern American politics, though it soon runs out of jokes in that vein and simply goes full-pelt with the mad rewriting of history.
Complete with voice performances from the likes of Channing Tatum, Olivia Munn and more which portray American heroes as seemingly drunken college students, America: The Motion Picture is a fantastically trashy affair, and is at its most entertaining when it’s at its most ridiculous.
While I can’t say it has the wit of an alternate history like Jackboots on Whitehall, America: The Motion Picture does conjure up a sense of fun, jingoistic patriotism in a manic way, particularly as it builds towards an insane final battle that is without doubt the highlight of the film.
There are parts of the movie that are more annoying than funny, but the fact remains that, on reflection, there is something irresistibly idiotic about America: The Motion Picture. It may a guilty pleasure, it may be so-bad-it’s-good, but I can’t help but deny that this movie put a smile on my face. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 6.9 overall.