Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard
Written and directed by Mike Judge
20th Century Fox 2007
Mike Judge goes to the logical end of his King of the Hill and Beavis and Butt-Head view of the world in Idiocracy. 500 years from now the world will be populated and ruled by the offspring of the trailer trash that watches Fox News, doesn’t understand why their mobile home gets wiped out by a hurricane year after year, and makes Springer possible. What is scary about this comedy, now available on DVD, is that it is more current social commentary than satirical science-fiction.
Idiocracy is a bizarre blend of the totally stupid movie and well-made futurist comedy. Luke Wilson stars as Joe Bauers, a perfectly average guy who gets Disneyed along with a hooker, Maya Rudolph, and wakes up 500 years into the future as the smartest man in the world. The ecomomy is down, edumacation is non-existent, and there is no food because people are spraying Gatorade -or whatever it is called in the movie-on the crops. Bauers is soon discovered to be the smartest man in the world and is asked by the prezidunt to fix the problems.
Mike Judge’s vision of a world where Costco is the size of a city, everyone wears clothes with ads on them, television’s most popular program is about a guy getting it in the nuts is incredibly believable. His explanation for why the world got so dumb (the smart people kept putting off having kids while the dumb ones bred like rabbits on Viagra) is prescient.
There are a lot of subtle and visual jokes in Idiocracy that make it worth watching a couple of times. For example the last scene in Idiocracy is really funny if you pay attention: Rita, Maya Rudolph, has finally become a painter and is painting Joe’s presidential portrait, a portrait that bears a close resemblance to George Bush.
If Idiocracy is not a brilliant comedy it is in part because Judge’s premise about a world ruled by morons and idiots handcuffs him in terms of characters. Fortunately he is intelligent enough not to milk everything so at less than ninety minutes Idiocracy is a fun to watch DVD that could achieve cult status.
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