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Review: Idiocracy

09.12.2006

JoBlo note: As per my "JoBlo blurb of the day" above, it truly appears as though FOX is intentionally "dumping" Mike Judge's latest film entitled IDIOCRACY despite pretty decent word of mouth from those who have seen it already. The film has no official website, no official poster, only 2 pictures from the film on the Net (see them below) and isn't even featured anywhere on Fox's official press site. A little odd, no? Anyway, our man Johnny Moreno managed to catch the flick last week and here's what he thought about it. For those who don't remember, FOX pulled this same shit with Judge's OFFICE SPACE a few years ago, but that film ultimately gained cult status on DVD.

After two years in “how will we market this” hell, Mike Judge’s IDIOCRACY finally hit theatres September 1st, albeit very select theatres. According to BoxOfficeMojo, the movie’s currently playing in 130 theatres across the country. Doesn’t exactly scream, “confidence in the product.”

Plot: For the uninitiated, Joe (Luke Wilson ), a private in the Armed Forces is selected to become the guinea pig for the government’s new “hibernation program”. Designed to incapacitate your ass, Han Solo-style, the government’s purpose is to take the top brass, elite soldiers and “freeze” them for a time when their services will be most useful. Joe is not one of these elite soldiers. Along for the ride is Rita (Maya Rudolph), a hooker with sass (is there any other kind?) and like Joe, two eggs short of a full carton. After being “forgotten” about for 1000 years, Joe and Rita finally awake out of their comas to find the people of the world existing on pretty much caveman instinct and tubs of icing.

What follows are an array of dick and fart jokes, visual gags, slams on advertising and the judicial system and a love story you can see coming a mile away but did I care? Nope. I totally dug it. The movie could have done without the love story, but it works in this setting, even balancing the hilarious “family tree” montage in the beginning of the flick which shows how the world has become overpopulated with dumb shits. The people watch 15 shows at once, like in "Back to the Future 2". One show called, “Own my Ballz,” consists of a poor dude getting his goolies owned in various, creative ways. Imagine seeing Denzel Washington on the street, saying, “I love your work!” then kicking him square in his John Qs. I know, hilarious, right? Then you realize you’re watching a bunch of retards on the screen, watching people getting kicked in the nuts like it was the greatest thing in the world. Then you start to think, “is this where we’re headed?” Without getting overly dramatic about it, questions are posed, debates arise, bowls are roasted.

Luke Wilson, luckily, doesn’t have the stigma of his blonder brethren, who is basically “Owen”, nowadays. Luke plays Joe as just what the name implies: the average, every day…er…joe blow (that was an accident, I swear). Even when we briefly see him in the military at the start of the film, it’s understood that when Joe is given the choice of “Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way”, Joe will get the hell out of the way. And he’s okay with that.

SNL’s Maya Rudolph lends pretty much nothing to the role, other than a great mugshot. The role is pretty transparent, easy to do without. It almost feels like it was added in later on to give it the “love interest” angle. Punk’d’s Dax Shepard plays Frito, an attorney that Joe literally crashes in on. Other highlight’s include Justin Long as a doctor, the wonderfully boobalicious Sara Rue, the classic courtroom scene with Stephen Root as Judge Hank “the Hangman” BMW, Terry Crews as President Camacho and Michael Bolton from OFFICE SPACE as one of his cabinet members. Not to mention the love of a Gatorade like drink that spouts from water faucets (It’s got Electrolytes!).

It’s hard to see why FOX would sit on this for two years, though after watching it, I can see that it’s a film that’s not exactly a marketing coordinator’s dream. It’s a straight up satire on today’s world that pulls no punches when it comes to where we could be heading (in an exaggerated fashion of course), and the fact that it was completed and ready to go two years ago is scary to me when dealing with the movie’s theme of retardation.

It’s the perfect flick for this moment in time. Or was that two years ago? I hate time travel. Good satire is sometimes ugly, as it is now, and even if it doesn’t make someone in marketing’s job easier, Mike Judge, who’s proven his relevance, is a hand someone should be more than willing to gamble on.

-- By Johnny Moreno

Source: JoBlo.com

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