Review of Idiocracy

Mike Judge’s new movie, Idiocracy, is a dystopic comedy about two completely normal, average people who are forgotten in a top-secret Army hibernation experiment gone awry. Instead of the one year that they signed up for, they find themselves awaking in an America five hundred years in the future. Expecting an advanced civilization, they quickly discover that the dumbing down of American culture has left succeeding generations dumber and dumber. In that climate, they are hailed as the smartest people in the world and quickly placed in the service of resuscitating the degenerating American economy.

I was eagerly awaiting this movie’s release since it had had a very limited run in theaters. As you may know, Mike Judge is the man behind Office Space, Beavis and Butthead, and King of the Hill. Like each of these works, Idiocracy is a mixed result that is more good than bad.

The premise is rife with possibility since it represents an excellent opportunity to make fun of current events and culture using slippery slope. Given 500 years to play out, nearly any penchant or fashion in our culture could lead to the most bizarre and fantastic conclusions. There are times in Idiocracy when this is used to great effect, such as with the most popular show on television, Ow My Balls!, and the most popular movie in theaters, Ass—which is just 90 minutes of footage of someone’s behind along with accompanying flatulence. But there are times when it just falls flat, such as when the Rock Army plays electric guitar in the House of Representing or a Carl’s Jr. ATM-like device calls the police to take custody of a woman’s child because she can’t afford the large fries. To my recollection, the ratio of biting satire to eye-rolling groaners is about 40-60. That’s acceptable and consistent with Judge’s other works.

I would recommend this movie keeping in mind that it is a light comedy.

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