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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Luke Wilson
Terry Crews
Maya Rudolph
Sara Rue
Dax Shepard.
Directors
Mike Judge.
Screenwriters
Mike Judge
Ethan Cohen.
Running Time
minutes

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Idiocracy
there are shots at corporations — in the future the president is sponsored by Mountain Dew.


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Plot
Luke Wilson plays an ordinary guy who volunteers for a top-secret military project. He is frozen for a thousand years, and wakes up to find that civilisation has dumbed down to such an extent that he is the smartest man on Earth.


Review

Mike Judge has based his career on stupidity. Look back at the writer-director’s early years and you’ll find Inbred Jed,a short following the adventures of a redneck simpleton. Shortly after that, in 1993, he hit the big-time with Beavis And Butt-Head, a brace of blockheads whose lifestyle consisted of watching music videos on the boob-tube while chortling cretinously. It was a massive hit for MTV, despite the fact that it blatantly satirised the station’s own viewers.
 
Last year, Judge released what can be seen as the culmination of his twit-themed canon. An apocalyptic vision of a world gone dumb, based on the idea that those with lower IQs breed faster than eggheads, Idiocracy could be retitled Planet Of The Ape-Brained. It’s a superb bit of satiric high-concept that Judge mines proficiently for laughs. Unfortunately it’s also been tragically mishandled by powers-on-high, meaning few have had a chance to see it. 
 
First Judge had to call in favours from celebrity friends like Robert Rodriguez to finish the film’s effects. Then 20th Century Fox (US) refused to screen the movie for critics, ran no commercials or trailers, and dropped it into a meagre 130 theatres. Over here it fared even worse, getting no cinema release at all. With audiences lapping up ‘comedies’ like Epic Movie (exactly the kind of tripe Idiocracy’s future-fools would love), it’s especially sad for Judge, whose Office Space also got dumped by Fox back in 1999.
 
But there’s a glimmer of hope for him yet. Despite the best efforts of its studio, Office Space went on to become an endlessly quoted cult hit on DVD, and while there’s nothing in Idiocracy to quite match the snaky smarm of Gary Cole’s middle-manager in that film, there’s plenty to enjoy. Luke Wilson centres it all with a sweet turn as the outstandingly average army man who’s frozen and wakes up in 500 years’ time. He finds an America where clock towers have gone digital, sofas have toilet bowls built in, and the fast food and sex industries have merged. In a sly diss, Fox News is still dominant in current affairs programming.
 
The premise gives Judge and his co-screenwriter, King Of The Hill’s Etan Cohen, free rein to lash out at wherever they see standards dropping and dumbness creeping in. So there are pot-shots at reality TV (with a show called Ow! My Balls!) and all-powerful corporations (in the future, a power drink has replaced water and the President is sponsored by Mountain Dew). The latter swipes are likely part of the reason why Idiocracy got banished — few films dare to feature anti-product placement.   
 
It’s no masterpiece and admittedly slight at 75 minutes long. But Idiocracy is that rarest of things in this age of lazy laughs — a gutsy comedy with something to say. More importantly, it’s funny. Seek it out.


Extras

Idiocracy Idiocracy
Released: 19 March 2007
Unsurprisingly, no commentary from Judge; just a few brief deleted scenes that offer a subplot with the hero’s girlfriend.


Verdict
A superb bit of satiric high-concept that Judge mines proficiently for laughs


Reviewed by Nick de Semlyen

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Idiocracy
Empire Star Rating

tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/]Idiocracyoe Bauers (Luke Wilson) takes part in a military experiment and gets frozen for a year. It goes wrong of course: he doesn`t get frozen for one but for 500 years. The world he comes back to live to is on in wich everyone is extremely dumb, thanks to the "brilliant" tv shows and the fact that no one reads no books no more and aren`t interested in basically anything. It`s Bauer job to save the world from damnation and get himself back to present... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 21:57, 14 July 2011 | Report This Post


Remarkably enjoyable - remarkably frightening...

This was hugely funny and hugely thought provoking. Let's face it, the premise that stupid people breed faster than intelligent ones is accurate, and with no predators to thin the herd, I find it hard to quibble with his conclusions on the nature of the future. All in all, excellent acting, very funny premise and a lot of laughs. Worryingly, I suspect that people who don't find it funny may have lots of kids... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The Voice of Fate at 14:21, 19 June 2009 | Report This Post


Good idea fails to last

I was really looking forward to this, after all the hype (mainly Empire's). For, maybe, the first twenty minutes I was enjoying the film (particularly while the army explains the mission) but it simply falls apart afterwards. The story and the performances just aren't capable of maintaining my interest. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by brokenking at 13:21, 12 December 2007 | Report This Post


eeesh... What was Judge thinking? Beavis and Butt-head Do America is possibly the best adult animated comedy ever, Office Space shows potential, but this? Some great ideas entirely pissed on by shoddy... well, everything. Editing, sound, performances, script... Not great. Not great at all. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by wooz at 09:01, 16 September 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Disappointed

This is one of the funniest films I've seen this year and it had me in tears in some parts. Highly recommended. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Lazarus munkey at 02:08, 13 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Disappointed

i watvhed this today and thought it was a great stire. its not laugh out loud funny its enjoyable to watch and i think Mike Judge's vision of the future is a clever commentary on how certain parts of America may turn out in years to come ... More

Posted by the sangypange at 15:09, 12 July 2007 | Report This Post


Disappointed

I had high hopes for this, as a lover of Beavis and Butthead and Office space, but the film just isn't that great. The main joke does seem too repetitive, and there isn't enough in the characters to flesh out the film. Nice idea, witty in parts - but a disappointment all the same. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by discodave101 at 11:17, 21 May 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Idiocracy

I thought I would have really liked this, and after half an hour or so I thought it was pretty good but very soon after it just got repetitive. The original joke was pretty funny but it just played off of that with slight variation all the way through, after that I rarely got a funny moment out of it. ... More

Posted by Kyle_R_ at 18:55, 20 March 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Idiocracy

Personally I related to it and I live in the outskirts of London   I worked in Hayes once and everyone there I worked with was stupid. I used to say something intelligently and I was derided for it. Plus Hayes is pretty shitty with rubbish everywhere.   www.myspace.com/holtmeister28 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lloyddobler at 18:46, 20 March 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Idiocracy

I thought it was woeful. Not the most original of ideas, which needn't necessarily have been a problem, but when it's so poorly executed, what's the point? ... More

Posted by felix sore foot at 21:22, 19 March 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Idiocracy

I wasn't sure I would like it.  I ended up liking it. DA     L: sngroover I thought the original premise, and main gag, were good.  As a comment on the regression of the human race, yes, it was quite funny, but there was just no progression of the joke itself.  It seemed like one, long, protracted fart of a punchline, which became tiresome.  Maybe that was the point, but I was hoping for solid entertainment, not preachy drawn-out jokes. ... More

Posted by dja1231 at 00:57, 12 March 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Idiocracy

I thought the original premise, and main gag, were good.  As a comment on the regression of the human race, yes, it was quite funny, but there was just no progression of the joke itself.  It seemed like one, long, protracted fart of a punchline, which became tiresome.  Maybe that was the point, but I was hoping for solid entertainment, not preachy drawn-out jokes. ... More

Posted by sngroover at 00:35, 12 March 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Idiocracy

That is true about the Redneck Culture.  Since I live in the US and on the west cost.  We have our share of them.  I guess I will be getting my fill of them when I move to the mid-west.  There will be more cowboy-mountain people there.  I am sure I'll be tar and feathered.  Them don't cotton to no open minded types. DA     L: sanchia It was ok but the fact it focused more on Redneck "culture" doesn't really give it that international app... More

Posted by dja1231 at 21:18, 11 March 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Idiocracy

It was ok but the fact it focused more on Redneck "culture" doesn't really give it that international appeal.  Office Space was very amusing and easily related to but the jokes in this film do not translate as well.    The introduction and first act work well showing the character played by Luke Wilson as being a likable slacker who has nothing decernably stand out about him.  The funniest scene is probably in this act where it explains why intelligent people breed at a... More

Posted by sanchia at 19:49, 11 March 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Idiocracy

A person with higher intelligence would tell you that you just didn't get it.  And go watch Teletubies.  Since I am not high, I'm not going there. ked it.  I thought it was pretty funny.  Not laugh out loud.  But I thought it hit the mark on the dummying down of the human race. Good review. DA   L: sngroover I was really pretty disappointed with this.  Having bought Office Space a few months back and reliving its greatness, I was raelly looki... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dja1231 at 19:32, 11 March 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Idiocracy

I was really pretty disappointed with this.  Having bought Office Space a few months back and reliving its greatness, I was raelly looking forward to Idiocracy.  I rate Luke Wilson as a comedic actor and obviously the premise is ripe, so I was expecting a fairly broad, but accurate, satire with plenty of laughs.  The first thirty or so minutes are good, with only a few gags failing to hit the mark (I found the army guy fraternising with the pimp crowd photos gag slightly tired an... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by sngroover at 17:01, 11 March 2007 | Report This Post


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