20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Luke Wilson, Dax Shepard, Maya Rudolph
Extras: Deleted Scenes
"Idiocracy" is a weird beast that immediately captured my interest. Here we have a comedy about the "moronization" of mankind with Luke Wilson and SNL's Maya Rudolph. That could be fun. What, Mike Judge wrote and directed the film? I have to see this! The fact that Mike Judge's material is not exactly on the bleeding edge of philosophical sophistication and has probably contributed more to the stultification of mankind with his creations "Beavis And Butt-head" and "King Of The Hill" than a great many other filmmakers makes this film a contradiction in terms almost. Or does it? Either way it is a must-see for fans of Judge's kind of humor.
To prove the viability of cryogenics the Army uses private Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson) to deep-freeze him in an experiment and plan to re-awake him a year later. To complement the complete average Joe that Bowers is with a female counterpart, the Army reverts to street hooker Rita (Maya Rudolph) to freeze her alongside.
Soon after the two reach their cryogenic states all Hell breaks loose and the army not only abandons but forgets about the experiment. And so Joe and Rita awake 500 years later and find themselves in a world in which mankind has dumbed down to a point of complete retardation. People are stupid, no longer master the language properly, are virtually unable to read or write and are governed by complete morons. Trying to find a time-machine to take them back to their time, Joe soon attracts attention with his "out-of-this-world IQ" and ends up responsible for salvaging 500 years worth of stupidity – and he has only a week to do so, or else…
In the opening I mentioned that Mike Judge's material is not exactly on the bleeding edge of philosophical sophistication, which is not entirely true, actually. To create satires the way Mike Judge does takes the ability to accurately observe society and comment on it with a very clear mind. It is not an easy thing to do and while many of Judge's characters are complete idiots, they are deliberately so to point out the moron in all of us so. "Idiocracy" is no different. I found myself pulled into the film from the moment of mention of "The Great Trash Avalanche of 2505" to the film's final frames. Judge is a very keen observer of our society and once again manages to amalgamate his over-the-top humor with truly relevant issues of today's life. People are indeed getting dumber. Illiteracy seems to be on the incline. Political leaders are more showmen than actual politicians and never has our modern culture reached a deeper low than in recent years. People are self-absorbed and oblivious, and that is exactly what Mike Judge is posterizing in this film to the extreme.
Luke Wilson was a great choice for Joe Bowers he can be witty one moment and completely clueless the next. Maya Rudolph also makes a nice showing though her lines seem to limit her ability to truly show her talent a bit, turning her into a supporting character only, giving Dax Shepard as Frito more opportunities to stand out instead.
The look and feel of the movie is very cool, too. While some matte paintings and special effects are coming across as cheap it doesn't hurt the film with its "Total Recall" look and feel a bit. What does hurt it is the strange way it has been put together. Constant voice-overs that comment on the obvious and a number of scenes and characters that are clearly not fleshed out the way they were intended and the film's miniscule 78 minute running length make you wonder if maybe this film has been "molded" as well to fit the masses. How ironic is that? A film that mocks the stupidity of people has been dumped down so it appeals to more rednecks, maybe?
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment presents the film in a great-looking 1.85:1 widescreen transfer here that is free of blemishes or defects. Colors are nicely reproduced restoring the movie's drab look accurately while also offering well-saturated color highlights. Black levels are solid and render shadows without breaking up., giving the image good visual depth. No edge-enhancement or compression artifacts are evident in the transfer.
The 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio track on the release is unspectacular but works very well for the premise of the film and its look. Dialogues are perfectly integrated and are never drowned out by sound effects or the music. As a result the mix is balanced and very pleasant, making for a great presentation.
The only extras included on the disc are a handful of deleted scenes. Check the out, though, because there are a few great moments included here.
I'm not entirely sure what happened to "Idiocracy." It is a great and funny film as it is but somehow movie and the DVD fell as if something is missing. No contributions by Mike Judge? No commentary track, no commentary or introductions on the deleted scenes? No featurettes, nothing? A movie that is only about 80 minutes long filled with awkward moments where you can't help but feeling something's missing? Something's rotten in the state of Denmark if you ask me and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Mike Judge and Fox had a fall-out over this film and its final cut. Still, check it out. This is really funny stuff.