An election campaign ad is obviously what it is, but a post-election ad that keeps the partisanship going is nothing more than propaganda. America Assembled is post-election propaganda that demands a film critic’s attention — not that it’s especially cinematic, but because it inadvertently demonstrates the effect that pop movies have on the culture. America Assembled confirms my political dread about Hollywood junk.
Based on the Marvel Comics Universe Avengers: Endgame films, America Assembled uses that sci-fi comic book franchise template as part of the liberal media’s effort to sway public opinion toward the Democratic Party. The Endgame story of arch-villain Thanos bringing the world to the brink of destruction and annihilating Marvel’s stable of superheroes — until they rematerialize, rising in rebellion — becomes an analogy for the media and the Democrats’ hasty victory celebration while the 2020 presidential election is currently contested.
Indie filmmaker and Marvel fan John Handem Piette ignores the current hip-hop evolutions of Kanye West and Ice Cube (Oshea Jackson), presenting Endgame (and bits of Black Panther) as his careerist calling-card film. Unlike West and Jackson, Piette announces to Hollywood and the far-left electorate that he thinks like them. Piette employs Endgame iconography to celebrate an idea from the Democratic Party Plantation — his hoped-for defeat of the Trump administration. He superimposes Donald Trump onto the face of villain Thanos, then supers Joe Biden onto the face of Captain America. Other Democrat politicians and Hollywood celebrities are Photoshopped onto the rest of Endgame’s all-star cast whose far-left political allegiance makes them Plantation overseers. (Avengers Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Zoe Saldana, Paul Rudd, and Scarlett Johansson all attended an October 20 fundraiser where Kamala Harris’s speech first floated the analogy between Endgame and the election.)
As Internet memes go, America Assembled lacks originality. Power Tie’s 2020 The Movie, which hit the Internet last summer, was wittier and formally audacious. It took State of the Union video, plus celebrity inserts, and exposed the Left’s seething personal partisanship; it was also ideationally rib-tickling in the style of meme-master Carpe Donktum and editorial cartoonist Ben Garrison.
America Assembled uses a simpler, childlike equation of political figures to superheroes. Resisting complexity, America Assembled employs celebrity surrogacy: Georgia politicos Stacy Abrams and Keisha Lance Bottoms flank Barack Obama like the Wakanda warriors in Marvel’s Black Panther. They’re joined by Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Corey Booker, Robert Francis O’Rourke, and Pete Buttigieg, each Photoshopped as an Avenger, gathered to battle the election. “ALL VOTES MATTER!” they chant, disregarding honesty and legality.
This assemblage, both tribalistic and fascistic, follows the implicit manipulation in most blockbusters that deceives unthinking viewers who are already partial to Hollywood-liberal trickery. This hoodwink is embodied by digitized representations of The Squad — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and their wealthier role model, Michelle Obama. Their troops include Andrew Yang, Gretchen Whitmer, and a sodden Hunter Biden, cigarette hanging from his mouth, who show up in a flying wedge that overtakes the outnumbered Trump. Next comes Elon Musk and Greta Thunberg, spear-carriers for global warming. And then supernatural allies John Lewis, John McCain, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg all rise from the dead. The recently deceased Sean Connery/James Bond is included just for the childish hell of it.
Critic Gregory Solman called this clip a “Cavalcade of Clowns.” It hilariously pulls Hollywood and the Beltway together in a fantasy of solidarity that can only satisfy the most star-struck political pundit. When the Marvel troops call for “MAIL-IN BALLOTS!” the assembled partisans force their warped democracy against the tiny phalanx of Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Piette’s fantasy illustrates the Left’s proven hostility, especially toward Trump’s Supreme Court achievements.
The meme’s closing banner “AMERICA ENDGAME” proves Piette’s indifference to national division and cultural apocalypse. He eagerly substitutes the Marvel franchise and its famously loud-mouth liberal cast as if these millionaire elitists and millionaire politicians represented the will of the American populace.
America Assembled is over the top yet plays out the hysteria of rabid, unexamined partisanship. Marvel fans who enjoy the franchise’s violence and cronyism are encouraged by this adolescent rabble-rousing to accept election irregularities and ballot-harvesting and further encouraged toward irrational anarchic retaliation.
The ad’s title America Assembled is actually a presumptuous lie. It should give pause to any conservatives wanting to get along with the media mainstream, hoping that the Marvel movies are innocuous fun. They should now realize that their enjoyment comes at the cost of their own moral and political beliefs. In America Assembled, those beliefs are parodied and under attack.