April 5th, 2007
Idiocracy is a comic dystopia set 500 years in the future. The premise is clearly laid out: Starting around the year 2000 dumb people breed at a great clip, filling the trailer parks with kids, while smart people put off having kids “until the timing is right” and never quite get around to it. This leads inevitably to the “idiocracy” of the title.
Star Owen Wilson, playing a very average 21st-century person, arrives in the future - Rip Van Winkle style - to find himself anointed as the smartest person in the world. Dragooned into government, he solves the problem of failing crops by switching from watering with Gatorade to watering with water. (”From the toilet… ew!”)
The comedy is very broad and the targets are easy. While sometimes sharp, the movie implodes under the weight of too many jokes about fat people saying dumb things. One reviewer called it not much better than a good episode of Futurama, and I have to agree.
I did get some laughs, and I sat through the whole thing, but I wouldn’t watch it again. If I had watched it in a theatre I’d be disappointed. It’s worth renting the DVD on a night when you want to laugh at fat people, Gatorade, advertising, Fox News, and professional wrestlers. (That is, any time.)