Idiocracy most of the time lacks the easy charm of Mike Judge’s Office Space but might survive in the same cult circles. Trading Ron Livingstone for Luke Wilson as the everyman protagonist, Idiocracy asks what would happen if in the future the human race was dumber, rather than smarter.
A fast and fun sequence showing a white trash idiot named Clevon procreating willy-nilly intercut with a smart couple who are ‘waiting for the market to rebound’ before having kids explains how the world of 500 years hence got to be so dumb. Judge’s world of reverse Darwinism seems to be based on daytime TV. The stupid future is dominated by Pro Wrestlers, Carl’s Jr. and a man with a television show that consists of nothing but him recieving repeated blows to his nuts titled “Ow, My Balls!”.
While it isn’t a laugh riot, the movie is consistently inventive in high-tech idiocy. Unceremoniously dumped into theaters with zero marketing after sitting for two years on the shelf, Idiocracy deserved better. The world itself is a triumph of art direction, with mountains of garbage and husks of skyscrapers kept from falling apart by baling twine.
Where Idiocracy fails is in trying to have the jokes both ways. The leads, who are at least supposed to be of average intelligence, often seem as dumb as everyone else. The idea that Fuddruckers has been obscenely transposed into Buttf***ers is supposed to be one of the high examples of how coarse and vulgar society has become, but it is also a prime example of how coarse and vulgar the humor is throughout the movie. There are very few intelligent jokes in Idiocracy and thus it seems to condemn its very audience. I don’t like being condemned, personally. The couple sitting in front of me, eating their nacho chips and laughing at handjob jokes, on the other hand, didn’t seem to mind.