Idiocracy Review

Idiocracy -- directed, written and produced by Mike Judge and co-written by Etan Cohen, starring Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph -- is Mike Judge's vision of what happens when the stupid people of the world out-populate the smart people by millions to none. I spent most of the time rolling my eyes and I'm almost ashamed to say, this movie made me laugh. It is a sinful joy.

Completely average Private Joe Bowers, played by Luke Wilson, and hooker Rita, played by Maya Rudolph, are part of a Pentagon experiment to put soldiers in suspended animation. Joe and Rita are forgotten about when the people running the experiment are arrested and the base is turned into a garbage dump. Five hundred years pass, as the world's population gets dumber while Joe and Rita sleep. Americans have been ravaged by their own stupidity. They have forgotten that water is for drinking, everyone speaks redneck-valley-ebonic-homey and everyone is named after a corporation. The president is a wrestler. Lawyers get their degree from Costco. They have forgotten science, medicine and all other useful knowledge, except how to drive. Everyone has a barcode tattooed on their wrist for identification and financial reasons.

During a great garbage avalanche, Joe and Rita are dislodged from their resting places in the garbage and abruptly flung into a world in desperate need of an IQ over 42. As soon as he gets out of his pod, Joe heads off to find a hospital. When he finally finds a hospital, the doctors are just as stupid as the regular people. When they realize he doesn't have a barcode, all hell breaks loose. The doctor sets off an alarm that causes Joe to flee in fright.

Rita figures out that she can make more money for less work because the men are so stupid. She convinces them to pay her for the anticipation of having sex. Rita never had to even have sex with anyone and she was making more money than before. Joe and Rita are reunited and help to solve the world's problems. The people are so ridiculously idiotic that they can't even remember that plants need water, not Gatorade. The premise of the movie feels like the internal monologue I've had with myself every time I go to the DMV or watch Maury, which is why I find it so humorous. How many times have you imagined, or better yet, feared, what would happen if the idiots who go on Jerry Springer ran the world. I believe Mike Judge has had that dialogue himself and decided to make it into a movie.

Most of the time, the characters are doing something so brainless that you can't help but roll your eyes. Watching the imbecilic motions of everyone other than Joe and Rita makes you feel the undeniable need to shake your head and laugh. It isn't that they are doing anything funny, if they were seven years old; but they are not seven and it is funny. Every single part of this movie is so over-the-top it is hard to take it seriously and I don't think Judge requires it of you. In order to believe that the world is run by people who are slightly retarded, you must let go of your lid and let stuff just spill over the top. 

I wonder if Judge was trying to make a cautionary tale. Maybe he is trying to encourage those of us who have a normal brain to spawn. Maybe he is trying to be funny. I don't care; it made me laugh nonetheless. Even still, I feel a deep shame in laughing. This movie is the Britney Spears record of cinema. Everyone taps their toes and no one admits they own the record. It would be difficult for me to admit in public, to my family or to my friends that I really like this movie.

If after a long day of watching daytime talk shows you want to enter your fantasy of being the smartest person left on the planet, this is the flick for you.

"Idiocracy" opens September 1, 2006 and is rated . . Written by Mike Judge, Etan Cohen.



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