February 16, 2007

Idiocracy (2006)

After watching Idiocracy (2006) on DVD, I can see why 20th Century Fox had release issues. I can also see why it wasn't promoted. It's fairly....idiotic, overall. Office Space it isn't. But there is a great premise, as well as a few good laughs.

A creation of Mike Judge, the guy behind Beavis and Butt-Head and Office Space (1999), Idiocracy is about Joe Bauer, "an Army librarian, judged to be absolutely average in every regard. He has no relatives and no future, so he's chosen to be one of the two test subjects in a top-secret hibernation program. He and hooker Rita were to awaken in one year, but things go wrong and they wake up instead in 2505. By this time, stupid people have outbred intelligent people; the world is (barely) run by morons--and Joe and Rita are the smartest people in America" (IMDb). The script title was originally "The United States of Uhh-merica", and the working title was "3001."

The first fifteen minutes contain dead-on, frighteningly (even sadly) accurate social satire:
"As the 20th century began, human evolution was at a turning point.

Natural selection, the process by which the strongest, the smartest,

the fastest reproduced in greater numbers than the rest,

a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man now began to favor different traits...

Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction - a dumbing down.

How did this happen? Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species...."

One mildly humorous bit charts the decrease in average IQ, wherein Mike Judge gets to once again (as he did in Office Space) parody Chili's/Bennigan's-style restaurants:

The future is crude and course. That reminded me of a bar that was once in Alvin, Texas, during the late seventies, early eighties, called "The Bucking Far."

A few more of Judge's humorous (and again, most likely deadly accurate) ideas:
A popular TV show - "Ow! My Balls!" (I'd watch it)

Engineering and architecture of the future

Al-Qaeda spares the White House,
perhaps because Mike Judge envisions the U.S. president thusly:

Presidential motorcade of the future...or is it now?


The Pine Blogger said...

I got quite a chuckle out of St. God's Memorial Hospi

Looks funny, and I'm a big fan of Office Space. Maybe I'll rent it on one of those "kids away at Grandma's house" kind of nights.

Chris said...

It's worth a look, but if you have premium cable (HBO, etc.), I'd wait and see it there.

The St. God's bit is a good example of some of the clever ideas in the film.