Idiocracy

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It's The End of The World... SHUT UP!!! I'M WATCHING OW! MY BALLS!

Sep 26, 2007
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Pros:Judge's Direction, Script, Concept, Look, Music, Editing, & Cast.

Cons:A Few Pacing Issues & Some Might Not Get Concept.

The Bottom Line: Idiocracy is a Funny, Witty Dystopian Satire from Mike Judge featuring a Superb Performance from Luke Wilson. (4.5 out of 5)


Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.


1999's Office Space was a film made by Mike Judge of Beavis & Butt-head fame that satirized the corporate world and the people who worked there. The film would eventually become a cult classic while fans wonder what Judge would do next. While continuing to work on his hit TV show King of the Hill, Judge would appear in sequels to the Spy Kids franchise with Robert Rodriguez. Then in 2006, Judge returned to the film world in another satire about evolution in the future where everything just went downhill. The film also presents the idea of what if the world lost its mind and everything had been dumb-down to a hilt in Idiocracy.

Directed by Mike Judge which he co-wrote with Etan Cohen, Idiocracy tells the story of an army serviceman and a prostitute take part in an army experiment where more than 500 years later, they arrive to see that their world has become dumber as the man finds himself to be the smartest person alive. A satire about culture and the de-evolution of the world, Judge's sophomore feature shows his knack for humor as well as the wittiness of his debut feature. Starring Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard, Terry Crews, Justin Long, and featuring appearances from Judge associates Stephen Root and David Herman. Idiocracy is a funny, witty satire of the world and humanity.

An army serviceman named Joe (Luke Wilson) just learned that he's about to take part on a top-secret Army experiment run by Mr. Collins (Mike Judge). Also onboard is a hooker named Rita (Maya Rudolph) as the experiment will have the two be frozen for a year to see if they would survive the outcome. Unfortunately, Mr. Collins' associations with prostitution got him arrested as his base becomes a Fuddrucker's while the two pods that feature Joe and Rita are forgotten. Five hundred years later in 2505, the world has lost its intelligence when an avalanche of garbage landed into a city where the pod that Joe had lived in finally opened and landed into the home of a man named Frito Pendejo (Dax Shepard). Still the looking the same age that he was 500 years before, Joe isn't sure what had happened as Frito got angry for interrupting him while watching his favorite program Ow! My Balls!

Walking into town, Joe learned that English language had deteriorated into a language of hillbilly, slang, valley girl, and grunts. Going into a hospital where things get really strange when the counter receptionist pressed a button as if Joe was ordering fast food. Joe meets Dr. Lexus (Justin Long) where the doctor branded him as "retarded" since he talks very intelligent from the doctor's point of view. Joe then learns the shocking discovery that it's 2505 while the doctor noticed that Joe doesn't have a bar code tattoo on his arm. Joe escapes the hospital as he was eventually captured by the police and sent to trial. His lawyer is none other than Frito who didn't help him with his case as the judge (Stephen Root) sent Joe to jail.

Meanwhile, Rita has woken up from her pod to find that her old profession has also deteriorated into something much easier where she managed to get money a bit easier as well. Joe got his tattoo branded on his arm but the questionnaire he was supposed to do made him named Not Sure. After taking an IQ test, Joe is sent to jail, which escapes easily as he finds Frito. Asking Frito if a time machine is made, Frito decides to send him in exchange for money as they finally found Rita who learns what's going on. When Frito's car is destroyed, the three walk to Costco to go onboard a shuttle that will lead to the time machine. They arrive where Joe and Rita remain in shock over the state of the world.

Joe was eventually captured and arrested where he was sent to the White House. The President of the United States is a former porn star/wrestler named Camacho (Terry Crews) who learned that Joe’s IQ test result is higher than anyone else. Camacho makes Joe the Secretary of Interior hoping that Joe would save the world by figuring out how to make their dying crops better as well as rid of the dust storm they've been enduring.

Realizing that he is the smartest person in the Cabinet with the Secretary of State (David Herman) often saying his role, brought to you by Carl's Jr., Joe learns that Rita has been captured as well. Joe manages to get her free with help from Frito as Joe learns why the crops have been dying. Water has now been replaced by a Gatorade-like drink known as Brawndo. With the only source of water coming from toilets, Joe figures out how to save the crops only to have the half the country lose their jobs.

Brawndo's CEO (Thomas Haden Church) realized what happen as Joe is sent to jail once again. This time around, he is to sent to rehabilitation, which is now a gladiator-like event that features monster trucks and such as the event is so big, it's even brought back old champion Beef Supreme (Andrew Wilson) out of retirement. With Rita deciding to leave to go to the time machine, she realizes Joe's plan was working as she and Frito hopes to save him from Beef Supreme.

Mike Judge's concept of the world gone stupid is definitely an ambitious one in comparison to his debut film Office Space. Yet, the story about an average man finding himself in a world where he's the smartest man alive is definitely one that is both downright hilarious and shocking at the same time.

The comedy that includes some extremely funny, lowbrow dialogue where people would say "I like money", "Shut up! I'm ‘batin", 'You talk like a f*g", and "I like money" in a drawl that can be described in a hybrid of Hillbilly, Valley Girl, inner-city slang, and grunts. Another factor that is funny is how corporations are handled where a Costco would end up taking an entire city or Starbucks offering hand-jobs along with other places. Plus, Carl's Jr. would have a slogan that says "F*ck you, I’m eating" and Fuddruckers' had its named changed to Buttf*ckers.

The result is a highly original yet funny vision of the future. What's more shocking is that it's also true in some ways. The script that Judge and Etan Cohen creates is filled with hilarious scenes and such yet underneath it is some social commentary on pop culture and people's obsession with it. Now, there's nothing necessarily wrong with watching a guy getting kicked in the nuts or watching a bare-naked *ss farting. The problem is that it gets old after a few minutes. Not to the people in this film where the #1 grossing movie for the past few years that also one several Oscars is a movie called *ss. 90 minutes of a bare-naked butt farting maybe funny to some but for someone that has intelligence might find it funny for a while but not for the rest of the film.

Judge's direction of dystopian with CGI-imagery of a town gone horribly bad. Architecture looking very messed up, mountains of trash, and the Washington monument looking very slanted. His vision of the future is actually horrifying to watch because it might actually come true. What happen to the scientists in that film? Well, they end up looking for the cure of hair loss and such. The idea of de-evolution through Judge's camera is very haunting as is the narration by Earl Mann is to remind the audience of how dumb the world has become. Even mentioning that Brawndo has ended up replacing all the food groups and such.

Despite the film's high concept and commentary, it is flawed due to a few pacing issues when things aren't being funny. Plus, some of the humor isn't as good as Office Space but what Judge does is truly original. Especially since his dystopian vision is starting to come true unfortunately. Even with pop culture. Today, people have no idea who Ingmar Bergman, Marcel Marceau, Robert Altman, Andy Warhol, or even Afrikka Bambatta (he's still alive) are or what have they done. Hell, it's amazing that ten years ago, some movies have gotten dumber by the minute.

Instead of people going to see a movie like Grindhouse or maybe something intellectual as Talk to Me, they go see something as dumb as Wild Hogs or Are We Done Yet? Plus, how have we gone from Smells Like Teen Spirit to My Humps? There's a line that Rita says about Albert Einstein, "Do you think Einstein thought the whole world was full of dumb sh*ts?" Joe replies, "Maybe that's why he build the atomic bomb". This is what Judge seems to say about intellectuals and their stance on the world and sadly, it's starting to come true.

Cinematographer Tim Suhrstedt brings a grainy yet saturated look to the film's cinematography to convey the bleakness of the film with its dark, shady colors and sepia imagery. Production designer Darren Gilford and art director William Ladd Skinner do amazing work in some of the film's set designs with dirty-looking buildings and places covered in trash. Costume designer Debra McGuire's futuristic clothing is inspiring and also cheesy with everyone wearing shiny-like t-shirts and baggy pants where the future has also lost it sense of fashion. Editor David Rennie brings a nice, intense look to the film including some of the dramatic reactions to the film's dystopian tone. Sound editor Michael J. Benavente also plays to the atmosphere in bringing noise of explosions and grunts that work very well. Visual effects supervisor Kent Johnson's look of the future is amazing, even a shot of a bridge that's already broken and such. Composer Theodore Shapiro brings a score that’s dominated by country-like acoustic guitar to play up the film's humor as well as a mix of music featuring metal and reggae.

The film's cast is unique in playing up to the film's comedy. Small appearances from director Mike Judge as Collins, Bottle Rocket's Robert Musgrave as an Army sergeant, rapper Scarface as Rita's pimp Upgrayed, Sara Rue as a bimbo attorney general, Danny Cochran as the idiotic Secretary of Education, and in the roles of the unfortunate yuppie couple in the film's intro, Darlene Hunt and Patrick Fischler are funny. Cameo appearances from Stephen Root, David Herman, Thomas Haden Church, and Justin Long are very funny along with Luke's older brother Andrew in a great cameo as the flame-throwing gladiator Beef Supreme. In the role of the U.S. president, Terry Crews gives a hilarious, energetic performance as President Camacho with his long, heavy-metal wig and exuberance that makes him one of the most overlooked comedy actors.

Dax Shepard is extremely funny as the dim-witted lawyer Frito Pendejo. His last name in Spanish means stupid, which is even funnier. With his hillbilly accent, Shepard makes every moment worth laughing about in how he responds to situations, talk, and all sorts of hijinks. He along with Crews are some of the film’s best supporting performances. Maya Rudolph is also funny in her role as Rita, a hooker who finds her old job becoming too easy while becoming aware that she too, is smarter than everyone except Joe. Rudolph does great supporting work as she becomes the only person that Joe can really talk to. Luke Wilson is great in his role as Joe, an average guy who is thrust into a situation as he ends up being the smartest man alive. Wilson's mix of subtle humor and drama proved to be the right tone as his remains one of the most overlooked performances of 2006.

When the film was released in 2006 after going through several delays due to test screening and re-edits in 2005. The film came out in a very limited release but what was most surprising that since it was released by a studio company, 20th Century Fox, it received no promotion or ads shown for the film. In fact, many people who didn't know what the film was in their film listing had any idea who was in or anything. The few who saw it were surprised by the lack of promotion for the film. Yet, the film was ironic in ways showing that a studio was willing to show no support for satire rather putting all its promotion money on mediocre to poor films that they always fund. Despite its poor release, the film has attracted a cult following with critics and film buffs while considered to be one of the most overlooked films of that year.

While not as strong or as funny as Mike Judge's debut film Office Space, Idiocracy is still one of the funniest and smartest comedies of 2006 thanks to some great performances from Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard, and Terry Crews along with Judge’s high-concept. Fans of Judge’s work will no doubt enjoy the film's humor and satire but for a general audience. It might seem too much or rather from their point of view, "very pompous & f*ggy". Intellectuals might think the film isn't serious enough or rather way too serious yet it's a film that is a mirror in the ways of how people have been dumbed down lately by pop culture such. In the end, Idiocracy is a must-see for anyone who wants smart satire that is also downright hilarious.

Related Review:

Office Space (1999):

http://www.epinions.com/content_71197691524


Recommend this product? Yes


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for Groups
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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