Thursday, January 25, 2007


“Idiocracy” review-

First things first: it isn’t a comedy. I think that everyone (most especially the Fox movie studio) was expecting another comedy hit like “Office Space”; Judge played against the expectations-he’s had so much success that he could do whatever he wanted, and he wanted to make a critical allegory. But what was he saying?
I mentioned in the previous post that Judge ‘lifted’ his story from Robert Heinlein’s “Farnham’s Freehold”. Heinlein specialized in social criticism masquerading as “Science Fiction”-“Farnham’s Freehold”, written in 1964, detailed a group of present day citizens somehow advanced centuries into the future to a time when black people are in charge, and white people are enslaved, looked down upon as cattle, are considered unintelligent, etc. Most of the group is a family who had with them their black servant-who becomes their owner in the new earth. Farnham, the family patriarch is valued because of his intelligence and ancient knowledge-as much had been lost in the intervening centuries. Idiocracy plays like a vulgar burlesque of Freehold. And I mean Vulgar.
Good points:
Maya Rudolph did a very good job with the nothing/one-joke role she was given. Terry Crews was a blast as the President of the United States. Luke Wilson isn’t as irritating as his brother.
One major problematic point: in the future Idiocracy, 98% of the moronic (and I mean downright stubid) population seems to be Latino/dark skinned/mixed race. Except for cameos by Stephen Root (Milton in Office Space) and Thomas Haden Church, there’s hardly another blonde in the future-even Dave Herman (Michael Bolton in O.S.) has his hair darkened. I don’t think Judge intended for his movie to be racist.
I think the point he was trying to make is that in the melting pot future, there are few defined ‘races’ anymore. We’re all blended. Indeterminate. Maya Rudolph is right for this movie, where a Reese Witherspoon would look out of place.
I think Fox movie studio saw this movie as possibly racist/insulting towards it’s audience, which is why they did nothing to promote it, releasing it for only a few days in a few theaters.
Did I mention vulgar? Imagine a civilization of Bevis and Buttheads being crass and nasty.
This may sound absolutely ridiculous, and I can hardly believe I’m writing this, but I think that Idiocracy shows the world as it would be if not for God. If man were just a jumbled mess of chromosomes, amoral, with no sense of God/Holiness, they would be much like the morons in Idiocracy. There’s not a hint of religion in the movie; I’m assuming that this is a reflection of Mike Judge’s beliefs. So his world is populated by Cavemen. Cavemen not smart enough to dig caves, who enjoy the technologies of the past (until they break down) but are unable to think for themselves.
Digital clocks all blink “12:00”, signage on buildings doesn’t fit, everything looks unkempt and dirty. What a world.
Tell me if you think I’m off base. Or dumber than Frito.

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