Idiocracy (2006)
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Review Date: January 03, 2007
Director: Mike Judge
Writer: Mike Judge, Etan Cohen
Producers: Mike Judge, Elysa Koplovitz
Luke Wilson as Joe
Maya Rudolph as Rita
Dax Shepard as Frito
The most average man in the military is used for a futuristic experiment which accidentally sends him from 1 year into the future to 500 years into the future. When awoken, the man slowly comes to realize that he’s suddenly become the smartest man in the entire world and consequently looked upon to resolve all of their issues. Plenty of puns, ironies, exaggerated effects and dumbness…ensue.
I hope that this film’s legacy doesn’t end up being “that movie the studio dumped for unknown reasons” as it really feels like yet another classic Mike Judge picture that the studio fucked but might still end up a cult classic after all is said and laid. If you’re into “clever humor”, this is the movie for you with an incredibly astute screenplay written to emphasize the end-game of many of the mind-numbing routines that we have been falling prey to over the past few years. Judge’s contention for this film’s premise is set up perfectly at the start of this movie, and basically decrees that the human race’s need for excess and lowest-common denominators far exceeded the rate of our drops in IQ. Once set up 500 years in the future, Judge lets lead actor Luke Wilson, the ideal everyman, stroll his way through a futuristic vision that includes many a well-placed matte painting, mixed in with a good enough set design to fool me into believing that we’re in some dumbed-down future. The film’s script takes over from there with many clever pokes at the idiocies of our day including the over-marketing of everything to the need for all to be bigger and louder, all the way to the extreme size that we require in our drinks and food, and yup, even our Costco stores (a wide external overhead shot of the Costco in this film is one of its better sight gags).

This is also around the point in the movie when we are introduced to Maya Rudolph’s character who is grossly underwritten and routinely played by the Saturday Night Live star. The lame interplay between Wilson and Rudolph takes away from the film’s many cool futuristic gags like the mix of Starbuck’s and sex palaces, the military man’s love for pimpin’ (one of the film’s funnier running jokes) as well as the incredibly pathetic jail protection defenses and the #1 movie in the nation called simply, ASS. Thankfully, Rudolph’s character isn’t in the film enough to ruin it, while Wilson does great work as the “JoBlo” of this science-fiction piece. Terry Crews also adds to the fun as the completely over-the-top President of the United States, a man who used to be Mr. Universe and a porn star before he became the leader of the free world, with struts paying homage to Apollo Creed from the ROCKY films to Rambo himself blasting away a machine gun during one of his Presidential speeches, and hilarious lines like “Shut your monkey asses up” (a quote he delivers to his House of Repruhsentatives after they give him a standing ovation).

But the film’s plotline doesn’t have enough meat to go all the way, as the film barely crosses the finish line at a measly 80 minutes, and doesn’t exactly provide the most ambitious of endings. That said, I personally had a blast watching this thing with its wholly original thoughts and ideas, delivered via many a funny line (“No wonder Einstein invented the bomb”), a goofy visual gag or a cool special effect. If you liked sci-fi movies like PLANET OF THE APES and LOGAN’S RUN, and comedies like Woody Allen’s SLEEPER and OFFICE SPACE, you’re sure to get one kick and more out of this greatly maligned release. PS: Watch this film high as a kite and really get into the proceedings even further. Trust me, it’s a blast!
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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