Idiocracy (2006) – movie review

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Movie Review by Neil Sadler

Starring: Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard, Sara Rue, Justin Long
Director: Mike Judge

When a slacker army recruit becomes involved in a top secret experiment, he awakes from hibernation 500 years in the future to discover that idiots now rule the world and he is the smartest person alive.

More a clever idea than a plot, IDIOCRACY has great aspirations but sadly lacks the intelligence to follow them through. Too often it chooses easy targets and although there are some vaguely amusing moments, it is never as funny as you imagine it will be. It feels more like the pilot for a sitcom, than a movie and 25 minutes worth of gags and budget have been stretched to 87 minutes.

Mike Judge – the man behind BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD and KING OF THE HILL – has shown he can manage broad and subtle humour, but here he never really gets the tone right. IDIOCRACY could have had some interesting points to make about society’s dumbing down but instead Judge chooses to gain much of the humour from ‘laughing at the stupid people.’

In BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD and his previous feature, OFFICE SPACE, Judge was able to elicit sympathy for the underdog, the stupid, whilst also finding humour. In IDIOCRACY, the humour is too broad and more often than not, plain unfunny.

Luke Wilson is amiable enough as the lead but he cannot overcome the cheap look of the film and the obvious budget limitations.

This film has had a history of delays and was removed from screens very quickly in the US. In the UK it has gone deservedly straight to DVD. Judge can do better and I hope he gets the chance.

2 out of 6 stars