America: The Motion Picture has funny jokes, albeit buried among a lot of unfunny jokes.

Yes, the plot sounds like the fever dream of an elementary school student who got the flu while studying for an American history project. It is, in fact, the feature directorial debut of Matt Thompson, the mind behind the likes of Archer and Sealab 2021. Like those shows, America: The Motion Picture is ultimately a sendup of a genre, in this case modern superhero movies. This is intended to be The Avengers of American history, and so it’s got all the plot and action beats you would expect from a movie of that nature. George Washington goes out to recruit all the others like Batman forming the Justice League. Some of them get along, some of them don’t, but ultimately they realize they have common goals and come together. The American history mashup that puts centuries of characters and events in a single place is an understandable one considering the way that Americans tend to view the likes of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as heroic individuals. Turning them into literal superheroes could have been an intriguing way to make a statement about the way we (incorrectly) idolize our forefathers, or even to say the opposite.


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