idiocracy movie poster20th Century Fox

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Meet Joe Bowers. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. But when a government hibernation experiment goes awry, Bowers awakens in the year 2505 to find a society so dumbed-down by mass commercialism and mindless TV programming that he’s become the smartest guy on the planet. Now it’s up to an average Joe to get human evolution back on track!

Poe’s Law: an internet adage which states that, without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, parodies of extreme views will be mistaken by some readers or viewers for sincere expressions of the parodied views. Mostly, this is seen on the internet, when someone mistakes an Onion article for the real deal, and uses that as the basis for alarm and whatnot. It’s easily done, as the written word has virtually no way to convey the subtle nuances like voice inflection or body language to help indicate the proper “I’m being sarcastic” underpinnings. That’s why there are emoji’s and memes and stuff, so that no one on the interwebs will have to worry about “context” or “critical thinking” to make their brains hurt.

Which brings me to Mike Judge’s 2006 feature comedy, Idiocracy. I can’t remember if this one ever made it to the theater in Fremont, NE back when it was released; and I would have remembered if it did, as I worked at the Radio Shack that was in the same mall as the town’s movie multi-plex. To be fair, Idiocracy may have hit a bit too close to home to your standard Fremont dweller, so maybe it was a good thing that was never seen there.

Gads, the sarcasm is flowing a bit extra heavy from me today. I’d better get on with the review before I melt down.

Idiocracy is a brilliant satire. I wouldn’t go so far as say “genius”, but it’s definitely a brilliant piece of satire disguised as an absurdest comedy of sorts. It’s the kind of movie that makes you laugh at the absurdity of it all, but then, hours after the movie’s ended, the more you think about it, the more you come to find how the story and plot is beginning to resonate a bit more seriously, because you can totally see it happening one day. Maybe the movie just amplified and exaggerated the smaller things you come across and have to deal with every day in this real world of ours.

In the end, though, Idiocracy deserves inclusion in your movie library. You need to watch this at least once. Not because I think it’s an eye-opening documentary (it’s not)…that would be skirting close to the aforementioned Poe’s Law, there. Instead, think of Idiocracy as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World filtered through National Lampoon. The good National Lampoon.