Originally conceived as a comedy set far-fetched dystopian world, 2006’s Idiocracy has proven not to be as out of the ordinary as viewers would have originally thought after its release one decade ago. In fact, in many ways, it’s been shown to be painfully prescient with the remarkable rise to power of a number of questionable political candidates across the world, people putting more time than ever before into modes of mass media – games consoles, television and smart phones included – and obesity levels at an all time high, Idiocracy actually seems to be a fairly accurate reflection of modern society, albeit a massively exaggerated one.
The film, directed by Mike Judge, doesn’t rely on high-art performances from its cast but rather asks the opposite to prove its point – the caricature-esque depictions of the general public are as disturbing as they are comical. Idiocracy stars Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolf as two drifters, selected for a military time-travelling experiment only to be cast adrift 500 years in the future, and are joined by a supporting cast including the likes of Terry Crews, Dax Shepherd and David Herman.
In 2005, a lowly corporal in the US military, Joe Bauers, and a prostitute named Rita are selected to be guinea pigs for an experimental version of a time machine, sending them five centuries into the future where they awake to find a world rife with stupidity, obesity and a strong anti-intellectual agenda – essentially, they wake up to the end of civilised society as we know it. The film follows Joe as he struggles to adapt to the new society he finds himself in, bemused and frightened by the devolution of the human race. With the collective intelligence of humanity at rock-bottom, Joe must rely on his own wits – in a world which despise people like him – to find a way back to their own time and change the future.
Idiocracy – Thursday 9:00pm on Film 4.