Idiocracy (2006)

Believe it or not, this is the direction our world is headed. Just check out the trending topics on Twitter.

To test its top-secret Human Hibernation Project, the Pentagon picks the most average Americans it can find — an Army private (Luke Wilson) and a prostitute (Maya Rudolph) — and sends them to the year 2505 after a series of freak events. But when they arrive, they find a civilization so dumbed-down that they’re the smartest people around.

Sounds like Mike Judge doing a live-action adaptation of ‘Futurama’, but this time, with so many more stupid people. Maybe almost too stupid if I think about it. Hell I’m thinking about it and I’m turning stupid.

The one thing I like about Mike Judge is that his writing and comedic style comes from just being very simple. He doesn’t really try to do anything new or inventive with his comedy other than just give us something to laugh at, even if he and a couple of his other buds may only think it’s funny after about the 20th time they bring up the joke. This premise is definitely one of his first “high premise” comedies and it’s also one of his more ambitious flicks as of late too.

Where this film works is in its satire that takes over the whole film and how he shows the world as a completley and utterly stupid place to be in. He shows how the world will be watching TV shows like “Ow! My Balls!” and buying a drink with electrolytes in it, even though none of them even know what the hell electrolytes even are. It’s funny to see how much fun Judge pokes at this dystopian future that may seem very funny to make fun of now, but it’s also kind of sad because we can see that this is the direction our world is heading in. I don’t want to go out there and state that the world is going to be filled completley with idiots but we’re getting dumber and dumber as the years go by and it’s kind of surprising how Judge brings this point up better than anyone else ever could have. Yes, I’m talking about you Woody Allen.

The comedy for this film isn’t just all about satire though, it’s also just about being plainly stupid which can make and break a film. Whenever a comedy just wants to be stupid and silly, it totally works, but in the case with a flick like this, it can also get terribly annoying to the point of where it almost seems over-done. Yes, there are plenty of times where the stupidity of these characters and this future had me laughing but at the same time, I feel like Judge really hammered down the whole “stupidity” thing a little too far considering it’s almost every joke he makes in this film. Hey, I guess with a TV show like ‘Beavis & Butthead’, Judge is known world-wide for constantly repeating jokes until they’re dead in the water, but here, it became a little too much.

Another problem with this flick was that as much as the premise was really cool and held my interest, I couldn’t help but think it would have been used a lot better with a bigger budget and longer run-time. The film does get to do what it wants without ever really trying to shoot for the stars but the effects are really crappy and the story seems to start to run out of any creative steam by the last 20 minutes. I guess I can’t really blame Judge for the budget that he was given but I just wish that he did more with this flick and I wish it didn’t look like it was made on a DELL computer.

As for the cast, they are all pretty much pleasant enough to make this dumb film work and seem more realistic than it had any right to be. Luke Wilson is once again the most charming and likable dude to ever grace the screen with his performance as Joe Bowers; Maya Rudolph is fine as the prostitute/”artist”, Rita; Dax Shepard is border-line mentally-challenged with his performance here as Frito, and even though he’s very good at playing dumb, it’s no surprise that this is probably the best thing that this dick has ever done in his whole career; and Terry Crews is the man as President Camacho, aka the President that would kick Obama’s ass any day. Once again, nothing special from this cast but still pretty good considering what they were given with the loose script.

Consensus: Idiocracy may be a little too dumb and stupid for its own good, or bad, but where the film succeeds is in Judge’s satirical writing that makes this film funny, biting, and a little bit more realistic than it should be even though this is coming from the same dude who invented The Great Cornholio.



  1. Hate it when the leading lady in a film is a whore (hardly believe that profession is the most “normal” depiction of women). Meanwhile, I do think the modern day citizenry is being dummied down – we the people are too lethargic. This is how the horrors of history repeat themselves (and crimes against humanity are able to rule the day).

  2. I do think this is a very underrated film. Yet, it speaks a lot of truth of where our world might headed. That’s what shocked me about the film. That it could really happen.

  3. I watched this, and was very disappointed. In its efforts to show human stupidity, it never manages to be smart itself. I found it irritating and unfunny… and incorrect.

    Every generation has bemoaned the idiocy of the next. Yet every generation has been more knowledgeable than the previous. And even as we decry “reality” shows like “Jersey Shore” as a sign of society’s decline we forget that only a few generations back a carnival freakshow was considered standard entertainment (and, of course, it’s erroneous to assume unintelligent entertainment is a sign of an unintelligent society.) Sure, society has it’s problems — but it always has, and they’ve always been pretty much the same problems. We’re not getting dumber. We are, possibly, getting more aware of our dumbness. But that would imply we’re getting smarter.

    Idiocracy makes an incorrect point, and does so poorly. After the masterpiece that was Office Space, this was a big disappointment.

    • I thought it was still a funny and bit of a truthful way to look at the future we may be headed, but it definitely has its problems. No doubt about that. Thanks Morgan! Good points!

    • I think there are two aspects of this movie: what we actually see, and also a meta-aspect where we as the viewer become part of the stupidity. Especially later in the movie where we get more action (the arena scene).

      The first time I saw the movie, I thought “It started out so great, but now it has just become stupid.” On further viewing, I have started to see just how brilliantly the movie is made. You as the viewer become those who watch the movie “Ass” and enjoy it. It’s like a mirror is held up in front of you and you realize that the movie does not portray the future. It portrays our own shallowness.

      It’s a slap in the face in a non preachy way.

      Perhaps I’m reading too much into Idiocracy, but someday I will start reading those Dostojevsky books that I bought many years ago instead doing things like watching DVD:s and surfing the web.

  4. I thought Idiocracy was excellent, especially the opening scenes that explain how the world became so stupid. It’s scary because it almost seems like it could happen….

  5. I liked this film and laughed at quite a few sections. There are so many examples already in today’s life (like the constant revving of the motorcycle.)

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