Wednesday, September 06, 2006


This is a Mike Judge movie you are unlikely to see in the theaters. Mike Judge is the creator of Office Space and King of the Hill and Beavis and Butthead. Fox has dumped the movie as a limited release with no advertising and no previews and no showings on the East Coast.

This is a movie that retells the great science fiction story The Marching Morons by Cyril M. Kornbluth. An average guy from the present day is placed in suspended hibernation and is forgotten about for hundreds of years. When he awakens he finds that his IQ 100 makes him by far the smartest man in the world. Once he is discovered the rulers want him to solve the problems of a society of morons. (This is identical to the story. The Kornbluth estate should sue for plagiarism.)

I give a limited recommendation to see it for fans of the story or of Mike Judge. I suspect the movie has been edited by the studio which had no idea of what to do with it and added a voice-over. Mike Judge's observational humor combined with the cute stars Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph prevents the harder satirical edge the movie needs. The biggest change in the movie compared to the story is the ending, where the movie has a lack of a solution to the problem compared to the nasty trick in the story.

Online reviewers are giving it good reviews - 71% fresh on the tomatometer.
Seriously, no one gets rednecks, metalheads and morons quite like Judge, who manages here to revel in stupidity while effectively critiquing it. Luke Wilson plays an absolutely average guy who is inadvertently frozen in suspended animation for 500 years. He awakes to discover the dumbing down of America has reached absurd heights, and he is now the smartest man alive. Predictably, everyone calls him a fag.

The real idiocracy, though, are the Fox executives who decided to dump this, one of the year's finest comedies, in a mere seven cities with no advertising or press screenings--didn't they learn from Office Space? Or realize King of the Hill has been a huge success for them? Uh...that, like, sucks.
Or another:
We can go on and on about how badly Fox botched the release of Mike Judge’s last feature film, “Office Space,” but the truth of the matter is Fox gave the film a decent release in 1999, putting it out into almost 1,750 theatres. The film simply wasn’t embraced by audiences until its premiere on cable and DVD. Since then, “Office Space” has rightfully found a cult audience, with its dead-on characterizations and wish-fulfillment fantasies of practically everyone who has ever worked in that type of environment. So the question is, why didn’t “Idiocracy” get any kind of chance to sink or swim on its own merits? Why was this hidden away from the press, and kept away from most of the major East Coast metropolitan cities? Elementary, my dear Watson... the film is just too savage in its brutal skewering of modern society for mass consumption. While a movie like “Talladega Nights” might tap the audience it targets with a velvet glove, “Idiocracy” hacks away at both the smart and the dumb with a comedic machete.
My rating - 2.5 out of 5 stars. The dispute about the genetics versus nurture aspects of IQ I don't want to get into at this time.

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