FOX, and parent News Corp., has been known to drop the ball from time to time. OJ Simpson’s book deal, the marketing and demise of Arrested Development, but one of the biggest problems they’ve faced is properly marketing, supporting, and releasing products from Mike Judge. His first film, Office Space, the very definition of cult classic was shunned theatrically but found new life on home video and DVD, spawning some of the most quotable lines of all time. His animated series, King of the Hill, was picked up at the very last minute last season leading to a shortened and late-starting season, and, over the last year, he’s seen his latest film, Idiocracy, go from collecting dust on a shelve to being unceremoniously released on DVD with a bare-bones package and no marketing.

I shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the movie was delayed, screened, delayed again, and then totally dropped from even a limited theatrical release, but there’s some obvious reason. First off, Hollywood likes movies in which they can make trailers for; Idiocracy is not one of those movies. The industry also likes movies which don’t step on the toes of companies who also fund other divisions of the same company. Carl’s Jr., Starbucks, Fuddruckers, and Costco are lampooned so badly in this satirical piece that executives must have just been waiting to sue. Starbucks gets the worst of it, turning the coffee shop into sex shop.

The movie focuses on Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson), an Army librarian and the epitome of average. He’s recruited into a secret Army experiment to freeze a human for one year, hopefully one day saving our best soldiers for wars that haven’t begun yet. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned, and the capsules that Bauers and a prostitute named Rita (Maya Rudolph), are incased in are forgotten about. The base is destroyed and replaced with a Fuddruckers, and the world changes.

As the opening narrative explains, those with the high IQs plan their family lives much more in-depth than the white trash, low-IQ residents of American, who spreads his idiot seed all over turning the American population into monster truck watching, beer swilling, ball-cracking-loving imbeciles throwing natural selection out the window. In the year 2505, the world is stupid, Costco is as large as a medium-sized state, and buildings are duct taped together, and it’s hilarious.

The beauty of Judge’s work on the story is the biting satire of a future, owned by corporations where ads appear everywhere (including your pajamas), similar to the office environment in Office Space, the United States 500 years in the future is a reflection on current times (in this case, two years ago because of the numerous delays in the film’s release). The sight gags are more prevalent than in any of the director’s previous work, but they all work while poking fun at a consumer driven America reliant on advertising and buzzwords to get through the day.

This is by no means a cinematic masterpiece, but the acting, director, special effects, and story all wrap up into another cult classic notch on Judge’s belt, who routinely produces quality comedy in either animated or live action form. While 20th Century FOX may have handled the film like the plague, there’s nothing to fear here. There’s a very polarized opinion on the film to those who get it, and don’t get it. Those who understand the satire involved, including being fascinated with a show completely focused on one man getting kicked repeatedly in the balls, will find an enjoyable film biting in its wit and capitalizing on Judge’s talents. Those who don’t understand may find easier comedic faire in simply punching a friend in the junk.

Idiocracy is now available on DVD, do yourself a favor and at least rent the film and show FOX how badly they messed this one up.

Written by Erich Becker
Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!