Movie Review: Idiocracy

Buy now at!Hey, remember Mike Judge? He's that guy who did that little show called Beavis & Butthead and this movie you like called Office Space. You might also recognize his name as being the creator of King of the Hill. Did you know he had a new movie out? Well, probably not because Fox did a hell of a job keeping it out of theaters and unless you live in Austin you probably didn't even know it was in a theater near you (that is, only if you live in L.A., Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston or Toronto). What, exactly, was Fox's beef? It's really not clear. Judge was doing what he is best at - commenting the stupidity/ignorance that exists in America and imagining a world where "teh sm4rts" are wiped out and the only people left are the ones who eat stupid food for breakfast. While the movie is a bit odd and certainly doesn't have a blockbuster plot or cast, the premise leaves us much to think about and is a truly genius idea that doesn't get touched on often (although Futurama manages to sneak some "future stupidity" in at times). The main premise is explained brilliantly in the beginning of the film - an interview with a young, educated couple explaining that they are not ready to have kids, they feel it's "too early," and a cutaway to a "white trash" family (fathered by "Clevon") surprised by another pregnancy. Five years later, the "educated" couple states they're not ready - "not in this market" - and the "white trash" family has spawned more children thanks to the help of the neighbor woman. The educated couple ends up learning that the man has a low sperm count and one of Clevon's sons is shown as a football hero promising the cheerleaders he will "fuck all y'all" to Clevon's prideful cheers. So begins the "de-evolution" of humans where the more intelligent fail to breed while the less intelligent breed at a high rate, thus lowering the human IQ substantially. Meanwhile, back at The Military, a soldier named Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson) who fits the description of "the most average man available" is picked to participate in a top-secret human hibernation project in which he is to be frozen and woken up at a later date. His female counterpart, Rita (Maya Rudolph), is a prostitute who was chosen for the job because she was the only woman they could find who was willing to go along with it. In the midst of the experiment, the Army base where Joe and Rita were being "stored" is destroyed (due to the top man in the Top Secret chain being booted out of the Army on various sex charges) and thus the two chambers are forgotten. Five hundred years later in the year 2505, since people have become quite lazy, trash is no longer buried or recycled - it's just piled up into huge mountains. This results in the "Great Trash Avalanche of 2505" and results in the uncovering of Joe and Rita's hibernation chamber. The avalanche pushes Joe's chamber through the apartment window of one "typical American" guy named Frito - who is too enthralled with the show Ow! My Balls (an obvious reference to Jackass) on his gigantic TV and eating "people chow" from a bucket whilst sitting on his sofa/toilet to care that a man from the past has just crashed into his apartment. So begins Joe's (and then also Rita's) quest to return to the past. Since all humans in the future are tattooed with a bar code on their wrist, and Joe lacks said bar code, he quickly lands in jail. But since he is smarter than everyone else in the future (even though in the present he is squarely average), he's able to quickly escape, thus becoming a fugitive. The rest of the movie is filled with clever sight gags and social commentary. The town's clock tower blinks "12:00" because no one is smart enough to set the time. Everyone speaks a "mixture of valley speak and ghetto talk" which is hard for Joe to understand (and vice-versa - they accuse Joe of being "gay" because he speaks so...awkwardly). The lowest form of humor - fart and sex jokes - have become the norm (for example, the restaurant Fuddruckers is now named Buttfuckers, and Ow! My Balls! is the most popular show on TV). What is considered cursing in today's language is considered the norm in the future language. As expected, capitalism plays a huge part in the future world. People have names like "Frito," "Tylenol" and "Mountain Dew." Starbucks is just as ubiquitous but it has become a "gentleman's massage parlor" (as have many other establishments such as H&R Block). Costco is where you can go to buy furniture, catch a train or get a law degree. Prison inmates wear name-brand track suits. Water fountains no longer serve water - they spout a Gatorade-like drink called Brawndo which contains "electrolytes." In fact, water is only known as "the stuff in the toilet" in the future, as Brawndo takes over as the liquid of choice. Joe ends up getting caught - but not sent back to jail. Instead, he is delivered to the White House to meet with President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho (played by Terry Crews of Everybody Hates Chris), a former "pro" wrestler who was obviously voted in on his crowd appeal. The President has called for Joe because his prison IQ test (required so they can place him in a suitable prison job) showed that he was far and beyond the most intelligent man alive. Camacho appoints Joe as the new Secretary of State and promises to the people that he will fix all of the nation's problems because he is a genius. Of course, Joe doesn't actually know how to run a country and the people quickly turn on him, forcing him and Rita to go back on the run in search of a "time machine" promised by Frito. More downright stupidity ensues. I have a feeling that this movie will become another "cult hit" for Judge as Office Space did. Perusing the IMDB pages for the movie, I'm reminded of how much visual comedy is going on in the background and I am already itching to see it again and share it with friends. There is definitely a lot going on that requires multiple viewings. Idiocracy is definitely a gem to add to your collection and one you will enjoy talking about with friends - maybe even finding a special catch phrase or two. If nothing else, check it out so you can see just what the hell Fox was so scared of. Because if Fox doesn't like it, it's pretty sure that you will. Oh, by the way - don't get this movie from Netflix. The copy I got was totally scratched and skippy. The Stupids must have gotten to it first.

  1. I thought Idiocracy was pretty good, too. I’m really surprised it wasn’t at least sent to art house theaters, I’m sure it would have attracted crowds. Normally I’m not much into conspiracy theories, but the only reason for not releasing this movie into more than a handful of cities I can see is that it pokes fun at too many companies.

    March 30th, 2007 at 10:17 pm
  2. this is a rip off of March of the Morons a science fiction story by either Cyril Kornbluth or Frederick Pohl written at least 40 years ago. There should be acknowledgment in the credits.

    October 7th, 2007 at 4:09 pm

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