“Idiocracy” is a brilliant cult comedy with a science fiction twist that alters modern perception of what the future could look like. Rather than portraying a future where humans have evolved, “Idiocracy” presents a devolved society where everyone is significantly dumber.
The plot follows the lives of Joe Bauer (Luke Wilson), an incredibly average Army librarian, and Rita (Maya Rudolph), a prostitute. The two are chosen to partake in a top-secret military experiment where they are cryogenically preserved and told they will be revived in exactly one year.
While Joe and Rita are “hibernating,” the officer in charge of the experiment is caught in a prostitution scandal, and the base where Joe and Rita’s bodies are stored is destroyed, leaving the project completely forgotten.
Joe and Rita are not discovered until 2505 when a garbage avalanche carries them into an unspecified city. They awake to find everyone speaks broken English, water has been replaced by a drink resembling Gatorade called “Brawndo,” everyone has a barcode tattoo that serves as an identity marker and allows purchases to be made and nearly all businesses are run by computers.
Technology in 2505 is highly advanced, but its inhabitants seem to possess no logical thought. The concerns of the people consist primarily of sex, crude humor and violence. Because of this, the world is left with mountains of garbage that cannot be properly disposed, massive dust storms as a result of the garbage, food shortages and the largest economic crisis of all time.
Joe wanders into a hospital, expecting to find a receptionist who can at least tell him where he is, and finds no one understands him because he speaks “all smart and faggy,” though he is simply speaking standard English. Joe is arrested for not having a barcode, forcing him to get a tattoo and to take an IQ test that proves to be practically remedial.
After Joe escapes from prison, he runs into Rita and they attempt to find a time machine that will return them to 2005. When Joe is caught once again by the police, he is taken to the president because his IQ test declared him the smartest person in the world.
The president (Terry Crews), whose full name is “Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Comacho,” designates Joe the “Secretary of Interior,” and promises the world Joe will solve its biggest problems in one week.
The rest of the film focuses on Joe and Rita’s hilarious attempts at solving the largest problems in history, while simultaneously trying to find a time machine to take them home.
Wilson and Rudolph, though a seemingly unusual pair, share fantastic onscreen chemistry, and Crews proves to be an incredibly dynamic character. Crews plays the president as a diehard party animal rather than a political figure, and serves as the perfect character foil to Wilson’s much more serious depiction of Joe.
“Idiocracy” is the perfect balance between controversy and comedy. Much of the material is crude and vulgar, but is tastefully used in the context of the plot. For those who are not easily offended, this film is a must-see. The film’s bleak view of the future is extremely entertaining, and is bound to leave audiences pondering the fate of the world at large.