20th Century Fox
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Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard, Terry Crews, Anthony 'Citric' Campos
Meet Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson). He's not the sharpest tool in the shed. But when a government hibernation experiment goes awry, Bowers awakens in the year 2505 to find a society so dumbed-down by mass commercialism and mindless TV programming that he's become the smartest guy on the planet. Now it's up to an average Joe to get human evolution back on track.
Given that Office Space
is a bona fide cult classic, it comes as some surprise that Mike Judge's follow-up wasn't more heavily promoted. Granted, this live-action comedy is a darker, more pointed proposition, but it's unfortunate that few theater patrons got the opportunity to, well, judge for themselves. In Idiocracy
, the King of the Hill
creator visualizes what would happen if Devo's proposition--that mankind is in the process of devolution--came to pass. The catalyst: the overeducated start having fewer children while the undereducated have more. Enter Joe (Luke Wilson), a military librarian with no family and even less ambition. The Pentagon chooses him for a top-secret hibernation project due to his extreme "average-ness." They select Rita (SNL
's Maya Rudolph), a prostitute, for the same reason. When the experiment goes haywire, the two emerge 500 years later--rather than one. Now it's 2505 and they're the brightest people in the over-polluted land. Everyone else is, basically, Beavis and Butt-head. Yes, the satire couldn't be less subtle, but the premise gives Judge license to make as much fun of junk food pop culture as dystopian classics like 1984
and Planet of the Apes
. Wilson wisely plays it straight, even if the actors who surround him sometimes succumb to excess. And the effects may be cheesy, but that just adds to the fun. Idiocracy
features former footballer Terry Crews (Everybody Hates Chris
) as President Camacho and Dax Shepard (Punk'd
) as Joe's futuristic friend Frito. --Kathleen C. Fennessy