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||IMDB Rating: 4.5/10 from votes
||Release: 18 March 2014 (USA) /
||Genre: Animation, Comedy
||Director: Jeff Dunham,
||Stars: Amanda Troop, André Sogliuzzo, Chiara Zanni, Gary Anthony Williams, Jeff Dunham, Jess Harnell, Lori Alan, Stephen Stanton, Susan Egan, Tom Kenny
||Synopsis: Achmed is having a very bad day. As if accidentally blowing himself up until he's a talking skeleton isn't bad enough, the world's most incompetent terrorist finds himself whisked away from his homeland by a bald eagle and taken to - Americaville, USA. Written by William O'Reilly
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I remember when ventriloquist-comedian Jeff Dunham began gaining
momentum and slowly etching himself into a household name, right around
the time I was in middle school (2006 - 2009). I remember viewing his
early comedy specials on Comedy Central and laughing hysterically, even
at one point thinking I could be a ventriloquist much like him. Dunham
was one of the comedians who brought the art of the ventriloquist into
the mainstream, using eccentric but highly memorable dummy characters
in his skits to create a lively and infinite atmosphere.
Despite all efforts, the obvious fact is that converting one of
Dunham's signature characters into animation inevitably cheapens and
simplifies the process and art of creating a dummy character into just
being another goofy character fortunate enough to get his own special.
With Achmed Saves America, Dunham's famous puppet - a skeletal suicide
bomber with a thick, Arabian accent - is welcomed to the animated
medium, along with other famous characters such as Cheech and Chong and
Jay and Silent Bob, who have been welcomed to the realm of cartoons
within the last year or so. The result is a sporadically funny,
sometimes interestingly satirical but a thoroughly flat and unnecessary
endeavor that earns its laughs predominately because of the familiarity
one will likely have with the film's source material.
The film revolves around its titular character (voiced by Jeff Dunham),
showing his humble beginnings as an incompetent suicide bomber, who is
blown up into a skeleton before being carried by a bird and dropped off
in the United States. After landing in the middle of a road, Achmed is
struck by a minivan carrying the Wilson family, your archetypal,
well-off and good-natured white family.
The Wilson clan mistake the dead terrorist for their daughter's French
foreign exchange student named Claude and, as a result, take him in to
their family and treat him as one of their own. It just so happens that
the whole town, cleverly named "Americaville," embraces Claude's
arrival and the townspeople, who come from all over the political
spectrum, treat him like he's the chosen one.
Achmed is passionately against American culture and customs, until he
sees how friendly, welcoming, admittedly simple, and inherently loving
they are, as well as the abundance of benefits such as all you can eat
buffets and fast food. Now, Achmed decides to ditch his terrorist views
and embrace the land of the red, white, and blue.
One thing that's sort of upsetting is that Achmed Saves America seems
incredibly safe, given its source material. When it crosses the line of
satire, it does so ever so safely, never assuring much commentary about
liberals, conservatives, gun lovers, or American society as a whole
seeps through. It also doesn't help that the special (it's hard to call
this a film, really when, like such projects as Cheech & Chong's
Animated Movie and Freaknik The Musical, it's hardly feature-length and
feels more like an experiment) never reaches particularly raunchy
heights. I speak not as someone requesting everything I watch be vulgar
and dirty-minded, but to air this special on a network like Comedy
Central and have the filthiest phrase being "ass-hat" seems kind of
There's fun to be had with this, however; the animation's simplicity
works as a pleasant throwback, Achmed does score some very good laughs,
Dunham's voicework translates well to animation (did he actually speak
or did he use his ventriloquist techniques?), and the whole thing is
hardly a task to watch at sixty minutes in length. It's just a shame
that safer routes were taken over more risqué ones that would've likely
ensure a long lifespan and impact.
Voiced by: Jeff Dunham. Directed by: Frank Marino.
Tags for Achmed Saves America Full Movie
, André Sogliuzzo
, Chiara Zanni
, Gary Anthony Williams
, Jeff Dunham
, Jess Harnell
, Lori Alan
, Stephen Stanton
, Susan Egan
, Tom Kenny
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