Here it is, the film that predicted the 2016 election. I’m sure you’ve heard about it.
The film, a satire which depicts a grim future of mindless society and an outrageous celebrity president, is an elitist’s nightmare. There are a lot of parallels to our modern pop cultural and political atmosphere, without question—I just wish it were better.
Idiocracy was written and directed by Mike Judge (Office Space), but it was barely even released and has naturally developed a cult following since. It follows Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson), an average man chosen for a cryogenic freezing experiment that accidentally keeps him asleep for 500 years. When he wakes, the country is a disaster. Bauers, a man with a 100 IQ, is now the smartest man in the world, and significantly so. The year 2505 looks like WALL-E, but without the artistic intent. Garbage is everywhere, and the only intelligent life is robotic.
So, obviously, Bauers wants to leave. He’s promised a time machine if he can save the country, and an arena-style death if he can’t. President Camacho (a magnificent Terry Crews), would seemingly prefer the latter, since it would mean he could see the Assdozer in action.
I couldn’t wait for it all to be over, honestly, and that’s sad. Everything was just about as stupid, satirical or not, as the people who lived in Uhmerica, and no amount of occasional cleverness could overcome that. Judge did a lot with a small budget, but not enough to make this work.
If you want to see for yourself, go ahead. As an idea, it’s really kind of great. Mike Judge had a disturbing prescience for a potential future. As a film, though, it ran out of real laughs in the first five minutes, which was sorely disappointing.
Some ideas, I think, are better left in abstraction.
Idiocracy is available on DVD and digital.