Sunday, August 24, 2008


Have you ever watched a movie and absolutely hated it - but when you looked at it again a few months or years later, thought it was an absolute blast. That's Idiocracy for me, the most recent movie from Office Space creator Mike Judge.

Released in 2006 in barely more than 100 theaters, Idiocracy was a film that 20th Century Fox tried as hard as humanly possible to cover up. They released no commercials or trailers, made up posters only for the hundred theaters the movie was screened it, and they didn't screen it for critics. When it came time for the inevitable DVD release, it was released with little to no fanfare, and then promptly forgotten.

Despite all that, though, Idiocracy was probably the funniest movie released that year, and as it gains a cult following on DVD, I suspect it will be quite fondly remembered in the future. It was sad, yes, and it's gotten sadder - less because of the plot of the film and more because of how eerily true the Britney and Kevin-inspired world it creates is. As a satire, it doesn't distance itself from the instant-gratification culture of dumbed-down entertainment that's thrown in your face every day - and because of that, there are times when you could be unsure about how much the film has fallen victim to the culture it's making fun of.

In it, Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph play a pair of ordinary Americans of average intelligence placed in suspended animation. While it's only supposed to last a year, it instead lasts 500, and when they wake up, they wake up to a much-changed America in which they are the smartest people alive - by quite a lot. Carl's Jr.'s slogan has changed to "F--k you, I'm eating!" The Violence Channel is extremely popular, with the hit show "Ow, My Balls!", and Starbucks now comes with complimentary sexual service. That barely scratches the surface of the number of satirical gags in the film, and Judge seems to have a blast creating this tragically stupid future. It's up to Luke and Maya to save the world from the problems its gotten itself into over the past five centuries, and to try and figure out just where things went wrong.

The movie is ceaselessly fun, and the amount of detail that went into many of the film's gags should put to rest accusations of stupidity of half-heartedness. Still, it's understandable why 20th Century Fox wouldn't want to release the film too widely - the movie is carefully crafted to offend a sensationalist media that believes that you the people who watch TV are idiots and so panders to them. If you're ever in need of a ridiculous comedy to watch with a few friends, I'd highly recommend Idiocracy.

Besides...can you really dislike a movie in which the President of the United States is named Dwayne Elizando Mountain Dew Herbert Comacho (five time ultimate smackdown wrestling champion and porn superstar)?

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