Redeeming Features: “Idiocracy”

Welcome to Redeeming Features. The blog where I (poorly) review movies that are underappreciated, underrated or under the radar, in hopes of convincing you to give them a second chance. IdiocracyThis week, I wanna talk about a movie that I know a lot of people have heard of, but I find that not a lot of people have actually seen it. And for fair reasons. For starters, 20th Century Fox, who originally backed the movie, straight up abandoned it. Well, “abandoned” implies they did nothing to help it, but in in actuality, they did a lot of things to try to ruin it. For example, they made no attempt to promote it, released no trailers, no ads, no press kits, nor was it screened for critics. They even tried to see to it that it was never released at all. But why? Why would they green light a movie, and then do their damndest to stop it? Some say it’s because it was a degenerate film that no living person with even an modicum of reasonable intelligence should see. Others say it was because Fox didn’t want to back a movie that pointed out, poked at, and purposefully prodded tremendous flaws in our society while brilliantly satirizing and belittling a major portion of their key demographic. You can say, “tomato, potato,” but I prefer to just say, “potato.” Fried ones…. With cheese.

This week, we’re diving into a vat of Brawndo with Idiocracy; another work of satirical art from Mike Judge that puts an intensely bright spotlight on the increasingly decreasing IQ levels of our population. From the very get, we open with an exaggerated, but terrifyingly accurate example of how procreation has devolved and how earth is essentially a breeding ground for the mentally inept. The smart ones, who should be procreating, understand the risks and money that come with it so choose not to until they’re financially stable. The rest of the lot get drunk, bump uglies, and try to “jump a jet ski from a lake into a swimming pool and impale their crotch on an iron gate” But thanks to modern medicine, we’re there to stitch him up, and give him full reproductive function again. OUTSTANDING. THANKS, SCIENCE. SORRY, DARWINISM.

Anyways, Idiocracy focuses on the story of Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson), a military man who, when asked if they want to “lead, follow, or get out of the way,” he chooses the latter. To be blunt, he is quite literally the most average man in the world. Which for the purpose of this movie, is right where you want to be. He’s not too smart that he’s contributing to the downfall by not avoiding it, but he’s also not too dumb that he’s contributing to the downfall by becoming a part of it. He’s perfect. So perfect that the military wants to do cryogenics experiments on him. He, alongside a hooker (Maya Rudolph) were frozen, but due to a military prostitution bust coupled with decades of oversight, the two are left in the freezer a little too long. About 500 years too long. And after an Everest-grade garbage dump landslide, Bauers is reborn from the most average man in the world to the smartest. And unnaturally, it’s up to him to save it.

Together, with a (not at all) helpful band of dullards, including his new lawyer/BFF, intelligently named Frito (Dax Shepard), Bauers sets out to find a time machine he can use to send him back to 2005. But in the process winds up at the White House, which is run by president/pro wrestler/porn god, Camacho (Terry Crews), who promises the entire nation Bauers is so smart that he can fix every problem they have… in one week. But it’s up to him to decide if he will lead, follow, or simply step out of the way and into the time machine so he can get the heck out of sludge.

Admittedly, Idiocracy is not a movie for everybody. Also admittedly, it’s less Office Space and more Beavis and Butt-head Do America. But strip away the fart jokes and ball shots, and really try to focus on Judge’s point: we are the most evolved devolving specimens known to man. And, if we don’t start making an effort to better sustain our crops, empowering people to practice safe sex, AND raising the bar for public education, then I hate to say it… but the most popular movie in the world may very well become a 90-minute flick of a farting ass, accurately titled, Ass.

…and I will review dat Ass.

TL; DR – After an accidental 500 year stint with cryogenic freezing, Joe Bauers finds the world devolved into absolute stupidity and must use his power as “most intelligent person alive” to save the world that left him behind.

Cody Tidmore is a Level Three sketch student at DCH. He’s been watching movies for as long as he can remember. Seeing it all – the good, the bad, even the ugly. And when it comes to annoyingly working movie quotes into regular conversation, he’s the reel deal.