‘America: The Motion Picture’ review: Netflix’s animated satire works way too hard at being outrageous
Produced by teams behind “The Lego Movie” and the FX series “Archer,” “America: The Motion Picture” owes debts to the raunchy sensibility of “Team America: World Police” and the whole Adult Swim vibe, with animated nudity and torrents of blood, thanks in part to Washington’s trusty chainsaw.
The political satire does strike the occasional nerve. The better moments include lampooning America’s love of guns — the well-regulated 18th-century militia really takes a shine to modern automatic weapons — and a biting ending that’s better than most of what precedes it, but not enough to salvage matters.
The relentless irreverence plays like a calculated attention-getting device, while providing opportunities to riff on things like “Star Wars” through this strange prism. Granted, the teaching of history has become the latest hot-button culture-war issue, but the people the crude humor is apt to shock are probably the last who would be inclined to watch.
While that yields the odd highlight here or there, “America” ultimately feels like the sort of bloated effort that would have benefited if someone had taken that aforementioned chainsaw and whittled it down to size.
“America: The Motion Picture” premieres June 30 on Netflix. It’s rated TV-MA (mature audiences).