Monday, January 15, 2007


At first it didn't make sense that the follow-up film by the guy who made late 90's cult hit OFFICE SPACE would get extremely limited theatrical run and go straight to DVD just like its predecessor. But after watching IDIOCRACY it all became clear: this is a high-concept comedy that's more disturbing than it is funny. It's like a fucking nightmare, honestly. It goes far beyond thinking persons' comedy and into the realm of apocalyptic cynicism.

Luke Wilson plays an average Joe slacker who participates in a US Army crogenics experiment along with prostitute Rita (SNL's Maya Rudolph). They're only supposed to be frozen for a year, but of course something goes wrong and they wake up 500 years in the future where people have gotten so lazy and stupid that Joe and Rita are quite literally the smartest people alive.

Sounds like a great idea for a movie, and it is, but filmmaker Mike Judge's exaggerations about where we're possibly headed aren't so ridiculous and far-fetched as they are very plausible and unsettling. No one reads, everyone wears clothes adorned with advertising logos, cities are surrounded by miles-high garbage dumps, buildings are held together by ropes, TV sets are 10 feet wide and people sit in La-Z-Boy chairs complete with on-board toilet, a movie called ASS has won the Best Picture Oscar, and a pro wrestler is president of the country.

IDIOCRACY also boasts some very convincing FX courtesy of Robert Rodriguez's Troublemaker Studios, including a mammoth Costco store with a parking lot that looks like something out of Mad Max. All these elements make a very ambitious film that probably cost Fox a ton of money they'll never see again, and the movie will definitely grab a cult following, although one different from OFFICE SPACE. Whereas that film was relateable and fun, IDIOCRACY is funny too - just in a much much darker way. In other words, most people will probably only need to see it once.


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