director Mike Judge
Given how the current American election has evoked many a reference to it, it seemed an apt time to watch Mike Judge’s Idiocracy. The comedy about how modern natural selection preferred the ignorant to the intelligent, the movie envisions a future ruled by the dumb, eaten alive by corporations, and devolved to the brink of extinction.
Yes, it’s easy to see why this dystopia springs to mind these days.
Only, how many people have actually seen this movie? Because, despite some amusing cultural critiques, it’s patently terrible.
Mike Judge has evolved himself from the creator of Beavis and Butthead, which itself was a highly apt cultural critique of its time. Between Office Space (1999), which gave birth to any number of memes to King of the Hill, which showed the ability to develop characters and story alongside social criticism to his latest incisive skewering in Silicon Valley, Judge has proven himself time and again to be funny, relevant, and inventive.
But Idiocracy…come on. For every joke that works there are dozens that fail. Luke Wilson is affable but Maya Rudolph is ridiculously wasted in her role as a prostitute with a brain. It’s hideous looking with the cheapest of FX and an aesthetic that looks like it was done on the weekends by someone studying for the Associates degree.
I wondered if it might have been better as animation. 20 years ago, when I was taking an animation class and I praised King of the Hill, the other (younger) animation students recoiled because its aesthetic was so low-end. So, who knows? Honestly, though, one episode of Rick & Morty, … heck, five minutes of Rick & Morty is 1,000 times funnier and more incisive than Idiiocracy.
You know, it’s still apropos of 2016, election and all. Devo-lution. We’re living it.