Starring: Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard
Director: Mike Judge
When it was announced that Mike Judge’s latest comedy, “Idiocracy,” would no longer be opening in theaters, many people thought that Fox was making a huge mistake. This was the same studio, after all, that gave up on “Office Space” only weeks into its theatrical release, and the film is now widely considered to be one of the greatest comedies of its generation. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of “Idiocracy,” which may just be the dumbest film you’ll see all year. Of course, in the eye of Mike Judge’s dumbed-down America, “Idiocracy” would probably win the Oscar for Best Picture.
The film stars Luke Wilson as Joe Bowers, an average American soldier who is selected, along with Rita (Maya Rudolph) – a prostitute from the private sector (Maya Rudolph) – to take part in a top secret government experiment. Frozen in time and forgotten about for 500 years, Joe awakens to discover a future where common sense is no longer taken for granted, a Gatorade-like sports drink has replaced water in all purposes other than toilets, and the most popular show on television is called “Ow! My Balls!” In fact, society has regressed so much that Joe is now the smartest man alive.
When the idea for the film was first announced, no one exactly thought that Judge was going to be able to pull it off, but seeing as he’s somewhat of an expert on Southern-fried hillbillies (“King of the Hill”) and the overall dumbing down of America (“Beavis & Butt-head), many were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Whether entirely on purpose or not, “Idiocracy” is dumber than a box of rocks, but the satirical nature of the concept never actually clicks. As a result, the audience is stuck with 84 minutes of piss and fart jokes – none of which are very funny – while Dax Shepard almost ensures that he’ll be nominated for a Razzie with his grating shtick as Bowers’ dullard tour guide.
Wilson and Rudolph don’t seem very convinced that they’re in a funny movie, either, so why even bother signing on? More likely than not: trust. They trusted that no matter how bad the script, or how ridiculously awful the performances, Mike Judge would be able to make this project hilarious. He failed – big time. And while the film isn’t without a couple good jokes (upon entering an amusement park ride called The Time Masheen, the riders are given a history lesson about how Charlie Chaplin commanded the Nazis), it’s one giant mess that should be seen by as few people as possible. If nothing else, it will only help to prevent against such a miserable future.