Idiocracy (R) ★★½

Review Date: September 8th, 2006

Idiocracy is a comically bleak look at a future in which the world has been dumbed way down.


Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson) is about as average as one can get. He’s an electrician working for the Army, doesn’t have any family. In other words, he is perfect for playing a guinea pig in the government's new Human Hibernation Project. Joined by Rita (Maya Rudolph), a street-smart hooker who needs to hide out for a while, they are to be kept on ice and revived a year later. But when they awaken, they find out that they're almost a thousand years into the future. The project was forgotten and scrubbed, their hibernation pods became landfill--and now, Bowers is the smartest man on Earth. They meet Dizz (Dax Shepard), who's addicted to a lounge chair, a bungling doctor (Justin Long), and the president/pro-wrestler (Terry Crews). Guess this means prognosticators--hoping for a better, more intelligent future--are dead wrong..


Idiocracy effectively becomes a bunch of one-liners, spliced together, which really doesn’t do any of the comic talent justice. Still, all the performers play rather believable idiots. Wilson turns on his easy-going charm, as the least dim-witted bulb in the bunch (but never quite gets what Rita does for a living). The affable actor always shines brighter in a movie that doesn’t have “romantic comedy” in its description. Rudolph does her usual Saturday Night Live shtick, while Long (Accepted) as the doctor who checks people in and out as if they were in a Jiffy Lube is hysterical, even if the one-note hospital gag gets a tad tiresome. Crews is also pretty clever in his role as the dunderhead president who can't figure out how to save his planet from starvation.


Why haven't you heard about this movie? Well, that's the true Idiocracy. Fox seems to have rushed this little gem out, failing to promote it in anyway, much like they did with the cult hit Office Space. Ironically, both are directed by Mike Judge (of Beavis and Butthead fame). Judge has put his finger on the pulse of what's wrong with this world, and gives a bleak social commentary about our future. For example, his version of the classic film of the future is a giant naked butt expelling intermittent gas every few minutes. That kind of fart film is the wave of this future, run by live-action Beavis and Buttheads. Maybe Judge means to say that the people of Idiocracy’s future--who watch the Masturbation Channel and Fox News (yes, that survives) and shop at stores bigger than small cities--are the descendants of those who run the studios today. Or maybe not.

Bottom Line rated this film 2 1/2 stars.