Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Idiocracy

Idiocracy; science-fiction satire, USA, 2005; D: Mike Judge, S: Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard, Terry Allan Crews, Justin Long

The most average man on Earth, Joe, accepts participating in a military hibernation experiment, together with a prostitute, Rita. However, the experiment in forgotten, and instead of staying frozen one year, the stay for 500 years, awakening finally in 2505. Joe and Rita are shocked to find out that people actually became more stupid in the future. This makes Joe the smartest man on Earth and he is drafted by the US President, Camacho, a former porn star, to help save the economy. Joe suggests to start watering the plants to save the crops, instead of pouring a sports drink on the field, but the people rebel and punish him by throwing him into a monster truck show. Joe manages to survive when the crops start to grow. He is elected the new President of the US, and marries Rita.

"Dumb and Dumber" meets "Mad Max" - Mike Judge's 3rd feature length film, "Idiocracy", is a shocking twist to several utopias that envisaged a perfect future thanks to human progress, by pointing out that dysgenics may cause a decline of the human IQ and that the 20th century may have been the human highlight, though, as it is often said that almost every film is a product of its time, it may also be a sly commentary on the Bush administration and where the society may take a wrong turn when stupidity is presented as something cool. The opening is brilliant: it highlights two couples - an intelligent one and a dumb one - and then shows that the intelligent lose their spot in the Sun when they rationalize too long about having their first kid while the dumb couple just simply has several kids, without any thinking or planning, who in turn again have several kids, until the dumb ones become a majority. The main plot, where Joe and Rita become the smartest people on Earth in 2505, is great, but the execution is far weaker since too many jokes are delivered only at first glance - i.e. dumb people doing dumb stuff - and only few of them actually carry something sophisticated to them (one great exception is when Rita asks Joe: "Do you think Einstein walked around thinking everyone was a bunch of dumb-shits?" or when the movie makes fun of the TV shows of the future that consist only from people farting or getting kicked in the crotch, pulling parallels with today's simplistic entertainment). The sloppy and underdeveloped storyline, equipped with an anticlimactic ending, makes the viewers wish for a better format of the concept, yet its cult status is assured, since too many of those characters seem eerily familiar with the people around us.

Grade;++

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