Thursday, December 30, 2010


Idiocracy (Mike Judge, 2006) The concept is so ingenious in this variation of Planet of the Apes, that one wishes it were a better film; an absolutely average Army recruit (Luke Wilson) is selected to participate in a cryogenics experiment (along with an average intelligence prostitute—played by Maya Rudolph—as apparently there are no average women in the military), which due to hierarchical mis-management is abandoned and forgotten, until the year 2505.  During the course of 500 years, the process of natural selection reaches the conclusion of its "survival of the fittest" mode and sails right on past.  Higher IQ couples are slow to reproduce (if they do at all), and are soon outrun in population by the lower IQ populace, who are ready to procreate (whatever the hell THAT means) at the drop of a beer can.

When circumstances are such that Wilson's recruit is awakened, he finds himself in a planet of morons, self-obsessed and ADD, the world is a corpochracy (clothing is made up of logo patches), dysfunctional, and appallingly apathetic.  He struggles through the legal and penal system (one dimly Kafkaesque, and the other startlingly easy to circumvent) to emerge as President of the United States...because he's the smartest guy in the country.

I'd be happy if I thought that would really happen.  But I've been through enough election cycles to know that people (whatever their intelligence) are not most likely to vote for the best and the brightest—even actively resenting the more intelligent candidate, voting against them.  The inherent cynicism of the concept, thus, has no follow-through, and is merely circumvented to reach and end-point.  That, and the inherent cheesiness of the production-design (which I could actually buy given a corporate mentality and an apathetic consumer-society) work against the film, which starts out so promisingly, and has flashes of ingenuity throughout.  I just wish it might have gone farther, and opted for a less easy way out

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