Movie Review: Idiocracy

Dennis suggests Idiocracy (in Incredibly Strange).  This smartly funny, mean-spiritedly satirical comedy was written and directed by Mike Judge, the man behind “Beavis and Butt-Head” , “King of the Hill”, and the cult classic Office Space, and Fox was so appreciative of the man’s comedic genius (and his contributions to their coffers) that they let it sit on the shelf for more than a year, then embarrassedly releasing it, like a particularly shameful fart, into six theaters around the country, not even producing posters to advertise it, and unceremoniously dumping it onto DVD.  Oh well, I guess the Larry the Cable Guy movie took priority.  Thus proving the film’s theme: an average Joe soldier (named, appropriately enough, Joe, and played, with his perfect average-Joe-ness by Luke Wilson) is cryogenically frozen, and then promptly forgotten.  Reviving 500 years later, Joe finds himself, due to the gradual, inexorable dumbing-down of American culture during the intervening centuries, the smartest man in the world.  It’s an inspired, as I say mean-spirited premise, allowing Judge to pummel American’s willful ignorance, media-addiction, and general slothfulness mercilessly.  Which he does.  Wilson is just right as the befuddled protagonist (and the watchful will notice him interact with two of his Bottle Rocket costars, Bob Mapplethorpe: getaway driver, and Futureman), and the cruel laughs at our expense come fast and furiously. Nice supporting work from SNL alum Maya Rudolph (rightfully acclaimed in the current release Away We Go), Terry Crews, and, yes, even Dax Shepard.  As for Fox, well, Office Space didn’t do well at the box office, largely due to studio indifference, and yet it has become one of the most rented, purchased, and quoted DVD’s in history.  Their inability to learn any sort of lesson, again, seems to indicate that Judge is on the right track here.

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Published in: on June 29, 2009 at 11:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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