Saturday, February 10, 2007

Netflix Fix

Idiocracy

A few years back, Mike Judge made a brilliant comedy, and the studio cut the hell out of it and didn't promote it at all, and nobody saw it in the theaters. Then on DVD and TV, it became a cult classic. Maybe beyond a cult classic. Because everyone knows Office Space.

So a few years pass and he makes another comedy. It gets even less promotion, plays in a few dozen theaters for like a week, then disappears. Even people like me who obsess over upcoming movies blinked and missed it. Now, Idiocracy isn't Office Space, that's really an unfair comparison. But the first act is just as good. The rest? Not terrible. Not that good either.

If you haven't heard of it, the premise is that Luke Wilson, average Joe, is frozen, Futurama style, for 500 years. While he sleeps away the years, stupid people out-reproduce smart people at such an alarming rate that by the time he wakes up, he is the smartest man on earth.

It's a brilliant idea, and the setup is hilarious and makes you think. But once he's in the future... I mean, where do you go from there? He's surrounded by morons, and they do really stupid things. There are plenty of jokes, and they work to varying degrees, but it never comes close to reaching the heights of the beginning.

But it's definitely worth viewing. Luke Wilson is his usual nice but unremarkable self. Maya Rudolph (SNL) is ok as the love interest. Dax Shepard (Punk'd) and Terry Crews (Everybody Hates Chris) are kind of annoying, since they're playing morons. A personal favorite of mine, Stephen Root (Office Space, Newsradio), has a great cameo, though. If everyone played morons with the zeal he brought to his bit part, the movie, I think, would've worked better. But Stephen Root is just that much better than almost every other actor out there. I think I have a nonsexual mancrush on him.

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