Today’s Saturday Replay is a fundamental and unambiguous skewering of modern consumer culture, but Idiocracy is part of a long line of dystopian fiction. Writer/director Mike Judge is a master at taking common-sense and sly wisdom and wrapping high-brow thinking in a decidedly low-brow package, and this film may be the best example of that.
Idiocracy stars Luke Wilson as Joe Bauers. Joe is selected for a top secret experimental human hibernation program because he is the most perfectly average soldier in the Army. Because the Army was unable to locate a suitably average female from within their ranks, Collins, the officer running the program (Mike McCafferty) slects Rita (Maya Rudolph) for the program as well. Unfortunately, the program is so top secret that when Collins is arrested in a prostitution scandal, it is forgotten and Joe and Rita are forgotten.
Five hundred years later a garbage avalanche finally unearths their hibernation pods, and Joe and Rita wake up, separately, into a world populated by idiots. Facing this broken society, Joe, now the smartest man in the world, must try to cope with the idiots surrounding him while looking for a time machine, (which he assumes must have been invented by now,) to take him home.
The film benefits from a fantastically clever and irreverent script, and some excellent casting. Luke Wilson is nearly perfect as the baffled, “average Joe” trying to come to grips with, and survive an utterly bizarre situation. Unfortunately, its clear that the studio had no faith in the film whatsoever, the film was made on a very sparse budget and it shows. Most of the special effects just aren’t remotely impressive, and the sets and costumes just look cheap.
Still, the film is very funny, and it actually point. It’s absolutely worth seeing.