The film Fox didn’t want you to see, but by releasing it on DVD I guess they did want you to see it. I don’t know, I’m dumb… and that’s the gist of “Idiocracy”. Mike Judge’s latest film to attack the dumbing down of America, Idiocracy is ironically a victim of its own thesis. It seems as if Judge, the creator of Beavis & Butthead, King of the Hill and Office Space, couldn’t decide whether the movie is a smart movie about stupid people or just a dumb movie about dumb people.
The plot of the film couldn’t be more simple. A military librarian, played by Luke Wilson, so average that he is the peak of bell curve in every military statistic available on him is selected for a one-year cryogenic experiment. He’s joined by a prostitute, played by SNL’s Maya Rudolph, who’s also selected to be cryogenically fronzen. Unfortunately for them the program is dismantled a few weeks later, and they’re left frozen until an accidental garbage avalanche opens their cryochamber 500 years in the future. Luckily for him society has gotten so dumbed down that he’s now the smartest man in America.
The movie is pretty short and much of the time is spent watching the citizens of the future speaking in a mixture of gangsta-slang, hillbilly grunts and corporate slogans. The things the movie has to say about mega-corporations buying the US government, rampant branding and product placement in the public sector, technology replacing common sense, and finally media driven law and politics gets old… thankfully not too fast. Allowing you to take in just enough before the end and not be sick of it before hand.
Unfortunately Idicoracy’s downfall is that it’s too far removed from reality and too smitten with its concept to overcome its character, story and pacing problems. Yet despite these flaws, the movie is actually funny. It’s no Office Space, but it’s a fun way of burning an hour and twenty minutes of your time.