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May 15th, 2006:
In order to save some of their best men for the future when they may be desperately needed, the pentagon develops a special hibernation program. Naturally, a test subject is necessary in the beginning to help discover any limitations or to inspect for possible kinks in the system. The officers select Private Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson
), one of their biggest under-achievers, as a guinea pig. For the female subject, they volunteer
Rita (Maya Rudolph
), a prostitute looking to have the criminal charges against her dropped. Of course, the experiment, which was only meant to last a year, doesn’t proceed according to plan. The primary officer in charge of the research gets busted for running an illegal prostitution ring. Largely due to the fact that he was one of very few people that knew about the test, Joe and Rita are soon completely forgotten about. The two awaken 1,000 years in the future to a world that has deteriorated immeasurably. Human beings have gotten so lazy, so dumbed-down, so entranced by mindless sensationalist entertainment that Joe is actually a genius in comparison. In fact, an IQ test shows that he is the smartest person alive. Aided by a lawyer named Frito (Dax Shepard
), who ironically may be the dumbest person alive, Joe looks for a way back home, far away from a society that has difficulty deciding whether he is a possible savior or a potential threat.What to Expect:
Idiocracy will introduce an American society utterly devastated by the stupidity of its people. Apparently, during the 1000 years that Joe slept, all the intelligent human beings focused on their careers or spent time studying for advanced degrees. Meanwhile, all the morons reproduced like rabbits. With time, the number of intelligent humans diminished until it reached zero, leaving a society full of total imbeciles. Everyone is essentially a version of either Beavis or Butt-Head or a combination of both. The number one film in the future is titled “Ass,” and basically, throughout its duration, shows a man’s naked posterior passing gas every few seconds. There are advertisements on every inch of free land or building space and society is polluted by mindless and useless corporations. Great minds like Einstein, Darwin, Nietzsche, and Aristotle, who once inspired humanity were ultimately no match for television filled with reality shows and WWE wrestling. The new President of the United States, President Camacho, learns of Joe’s intelligence and immediately wants him to take the position of the Secretary of the Interior to help fix all the problems plaguing the world. Article continues below
Average nice-guy Luke Wilson stars as Joe and since he can play both stupid and clever he should fit in with both worlds. It will be interesting just how superior his average intelligence will seem compared to the people in the future. Wilson looks to have a nice busy summer with Idiocracy and My Super Ex-Girlfriend
, which releases in July and has Wilson starring opposite Uma Thurman
. Dax Shepard (Zathura: A Space Adventure, “Punk’d”) has suddenly become a hot commodity with a slew of comedies coming out this year, including Let’s Go to Prison, Employee of the Month
, and Car Wars. He’s a good choice for a dumb attorney, in part because of his youth and his laid-back personality that could result in a surfer-dude type of lawyer. It is especially nice to see Maya Rudolph in one of the lead roles in Idiocracy. She is easily one of the most talented cast members on Saturday Night Live, able to transform her persona as well as her voice into outlandish caricatures. I think she will thrive in her role as Rita the hooker.
Idiocracy is a long awaited follow-up for Mike Judge
to his excellent comedy Office Space. The biting satire of office politics was an inspired and perceptive look at the minutia of the daily grind, but it also featured a ton of laugh-out-loud moments. Judge has shown great skill at handling both highbrow and lowbrow humor with his insightful television show “King of the Hill” and his salute to teenage stupidity, “Beavis and Butt-Head.” Both are great in their own right, and Office Space was a bit of a mixture of both. Now, seven years later, Judge appears to be returning to the same formula. He and his longtime co-writer Etan Cohen (“Beavis and Butt-Head,” “King of the Hill”) have reportedly written one of the best-reviewed comedy scripts in a while. Apparently, no one escapes unscathed from the pointed criticism of American consumerism and pop-culture fascination. The script title was originally “The United States of Uhh-merica,” with the first draft written back in 2002. The film was actually finished approximately a year ago, but possibilities of a civil suit have delayed the release. It seems that the humor in Idiocracy is so sharp that several influential corporations were unhappy with the way they were portrayed in the movie. That’s good news for Judge’s fans. Even better news is the “R” rating that the film has received from the MPAA. That means that we should not miss a single moment of some of the lowbrow humor, including a glimpse of the breathtaking film within a film, “Ass.”In Conclusion:
The comparison to “Futurama,” Fox’s brilliant, but ill-fated television show which also took place in the year 3,000, is inevitable. Ironically, after canceling the show, Fox is now returning to similar material for a feature length film. I’m positive that they have something good on their hands. There might be a pessimistic side in all of us that makes us see the world heading toward imminent destruction for one reason or another. Shows like “Futurama” give us a glimpse into the future and allow us to laugh at ourselves by confirming our sometimes-outlandish suspicions. I think this will be Judge’s shining moment – his best work to date. I believe that he will be able to raise the level of satire even higher than Office Space and set the bar for humor even lower than “Beavis and Butt-Head.” I’m hoping for one of those brilliant, but stupid comedies that can cleverly point to our endearing and not-quite-as-endearing flaws as a nation, while also giving us cheap laughs via numerous bodily functions.Similar Titles: Office Space
, Dumb & Dumber
, Beavis and Butt-Head
, Back to the Future