Jul 26, 2009

[Movies] Idiocracy (2006)

IdiocracyOver the years, the comedy movie genre has devolved into this strange collection of seemingly random sequences built around physical comedy or gross-out ideas. I have to admit that I've never really grown to like these kinds of movies since I'm more of a fan of the older, smarter, wittier comedies produced by the like of Mel Brooks and his ilk. Sure, they were pretty wordy, but they were definitely fun.

Then again, every now and then comes a decent comedy that sort of hearkens back to that period while at the same time being a lot more serious than initially presented. More often that not we get some pretty good smart comedies from the products of Saturday Night Live, who always seem to cluster together when one of them needs help with a film project.

Comedies don't have to be stupid in order to be funny, but at times it certainly seems that's the growing trend. This particular movie taps into that idea and manages to attack our growing tendency towards more base entertainment, as best explained by the movie's opening sequence:


Idiocracy - Opening Sequence - For more of the funniest videos, click here


Idiocracy is an unusual comedy that many will probably tag to be black. It involves two individuals, namely the extremely average Col. Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson) and a prostitute named Rita (Maya Rudolf of SNL fame) participate in a military hibernation experiment that somehow gets forgotten. Thus instead of just one year of hibernation, the two awake to find themselves 500 years in the future in a world that clearly demonstrates just what might happen given the theory posed in the title sequence, as posted above. Thus the two try to survive the time period in their own ways while trying to figure out a way home.

Now I had never heard of this film before Tobie recommended it to me, and I'm oddly grateful that he did. The movie was never released on a large scale but it has seemed to have developed a cult following over the years as evidenced by it significant online presence, in a manner of speaking. I can see why the movie may not have been considered for large scale release - in some ways it's controversial to a limited degree, if only because a lot of what they postulate as possible seem to already be happening now.

Acting in the film was rather blah for the most part, but not bad enough to make you want to stop watching. It's not like we're expecting Oscar performances here, plus they were trying to present a dumber future, and thus all actors may not have been performing at their best intentionally. The movie featured a lot of SNL veterans here and there, which did make things pretty interesting although not to the point that any one character took over the film or anything like that.

The plot itself was painful to watch, but only because it's scary that it just might happen if certain trends are taken to the extreme. In that sense it manages to sort of scare you with the possibilities of the future but then again still reassures you that this remains to be a comedy and that we shouldn't worry too much. Or should we?

The movie does tend to drag a bit with certain sequences and as with any other comedy, it has more than its fair share of odd moments when the jokes just aren't that funny. Still, all the pieces somehow make sense towards the end and the film does manages to deliver a message while making you wince and laugh at the same time.

Idiocracy gets 3 bottles of Brawndo (it's got electrolytes!) out of 5.


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