|Directed by||Mike Judge|
|Produced by||Mike Judge
|Written by||Mike Judge
|Narrated by||Earl Mann|
Terry Alan Crews
|Music by||Theodore Shapiro|
|Editing by||David Rennie|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||84 minutes|
|Box office||$495,303 (original run)|
Idiocracy is a 2006 American satirical science fiction comedy film directed by Mike Judge and starring Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard, and Terry Crews. The film tells the story of two ordinary people from the present who take part in a top-secret military hibernation experiment, only to awaken 500 years in the future in a dystopian society full of extremely dumb people. Advertising, commercialism, and cultural anti-intellectualism have run rampant and dysgenic pressure has resulted in a uniformly stupid society devoid of intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, and coherent notions of justice and human rights.
During the prologue, a narrator (Earl Mann) explains the story's premise: that in modern society, natural selection is indifferent toward intelligence, with the result that in the future, stupid people (who reproduce more often) will greatly outnumber the intelligent.
Corporal Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson), a U.S. Army librarian, and a prostitute named Rita (Maya Rudolph) are selected for a suspended animation experiment which is supposed to last for one year. Joe is average in every way, hence his selection, but the experiment is forgotten when the military officer in charge is imprisoned for starting a prostitution business of his own.
Five hundred years later, when the average IQ has dropped drastically, Joe and Rita's suspension chambers are unearthed by the collapse of an immense pile of garbage. Joe's suspension chamber smashes through the wall of the apartment of Frito Pendejo (Dax Shepard), who immediately throws him out for interrupting his favorite TV show, "Ow! My Balls!" (a recurring gag of the movie where the show star, seen in several situations, is repetitively kicked in the groin by the audience).
Joe, suffering from a suspended animation hangover, makes his way to a hospital, where he discovers that the year is 2505. The former Washington, D.C., now an unnamed city, has lost most of its infrastructure, with people living in plastic huts. The residents are morbidly stupid and lack self-control, speak a degenerate form of English - people who still speak "normal" English are considered "faggots", and are profoundly anti-intellectual. The "number 1 movie" is called "Ass", and consists of ninety minutes of a picture of human buttocks with the sounds of farting - the movie won eight Academy Awards, including "Best Screenplay". Joe is then arrested for not paying his hospital bill, and for not having a bar code tattoo. Frito, still angry about his ruined apartment, turns out to be his trial lawyer, and his inept representation causes Joe to be convicted and sent to jail. Meanwhile, Rita returns to her former profession and find that in a world "filled with morons", her job is much easier.
While imprisoned, Joe is renamed "Not Sure" by a faulty identity tattooing machine, and takes an IQ test before easily outsmarting the prison guards and escaping without any problem, since defensive measures such as automated machine gun turrets malfunction and shoot each other. Joe returns to Frito's apartment to ask him whether a time machine exists to help him return to 2005. Frito claims to know of one, but agrees to help only after Joe promises to open a bank account under Frito's name in Joe's time, which will then be worth billions of dollars by 2505. On the way to find the time machine, Joe and Frito find Rita.
They arrive at a gigantic Costco store, where Frito thinks the time machine can be found. A scanner in the store identifies Joe as a fugitive by his tattoo. He is arrested again and taken to the White House to become Secretary of the Interior, on grounds that his IQ test identified him as the smartest man alive. In a speech, President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho (Terry Crews) gives Joe the job of fixing the nation's food shortages, dust bowls, and crippled economy within a week.
Joe discovers that the nation's crops are irrigated with a Gatorade-like sports drink named "Brawndo", whose eponymous parent corporation had earlier purchased the US Food and Drug Administration and Federal Communications Commission, virtually replacing regular water in every aspect. When Joe has it replaced with water, without visibly improving the crops, Brawndo's stock drops to zero and computers automatically lay off half the population, causing mass riots.
Joe is sentenced to die in an unfairly-matched monster truck demolition derby featuring undefeated "Rehabilitation Officer" Beef Supreme (Andrew Wilson). Rita discovers that Joe's reintroduction of water to the soil has finally prompted vegetation in the fields, Frito shows the thriving crops on the stadium's display screen, and the President gives Joe a full pardon.
The President names Joe as his Vice President. Joe and Rita find that the "time machine" is a wildly inaccurate history-themed amusement ride (in which Charlie Chaplin was the leader of Nazi Germany instead of Adolf Hitler and World War II is depicted as a fight between dinosaurs). Joe is subsequently elected to the presidency. Joe and Rita marry and conceive the world's three smartest children, while Frito, now Joe's Vice President, takes eight wives and fathers thirty-two of the world's stupidest children.
After the credits, a third suspension chamber releases Rita's former pimp, Upgrayedd, where he seemingly starts to search the future city for Rita.
Early working titles included The United States of Uhh-merica and 3001. Filming took place during 2004 on several stages at Austin Studios and in the cities of Austin, San Marcos, Pflugerville, and Round Rock, Texas. Test screenings around March 2005 produced unofficial reports of poor audience reactions. After some re-shooting in the summer of 2005, a UK test screening in August produced a report of a positive impression.
The film's scheduled release date was August 5, 2005, according to Mike Judge. In April 2006, a release date was set for September 1, 2006. In August, numerous articles revealed that release was to be put on hold indefinitely. Idiocracy was released as scheduled but only in seven cities (Los Angeles, Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Mike Judge's hometown, Austin, Texas), and expanded to only 130 theaters, not the usual wide release of 600 or more theaters. According to the Austin American-Statesman, 20th Century Fox, the film's distributor, did nothing to promote the movie; while posters were released to theatres, "no movie trailers, no ads, and only two stills," and no press kits were released.
The film was not screened for critics. Lack of concrete information from Fox led to speculation that the distributor may have actively tried to keep the film from being seen by a large audience, while fulfilling a contractual obligation for theatrical release ahead of a DVD release, according to Ryan Pearson of the AP. That speculation was followed by open criticism of the studio's lack of support from Ain't It Cool News, TIME, and Esquire. TIME's Joel Stein wrote "the film's ads and trailers tested atrociously", but, "still, abandoning Idiocracy seems particularly unjust, since Judge has made a lot of money for Fox."
In The New York Times, Dan Mitchell argued that Fox might be shying away from the cautionary tale about low-intelligence dysgenics, because the company did not want to offend its viewers, noting that in the film, Starbucks delivers handjobs, and the motto of Carl's Jr. has degenerated from "Don't Bother Me. I'm Eating." to "Fuck You! I'm Eating!"
Box office performance 
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|United States||United States||International||Worldwide||All time United States||All time worldwide|
Box office receipts totaled $444,093 in 135 theaters in the U.S.
Critical reception 
Idiocracy was not screened for critics, but the film received generally favorable reviews by critics. Praise focused on concept, casting, and humor; the bulk of the criticism was directed at the film's release issues or at special effects and plot problems. Los Angeles Times reviewer Carina Chocano described it as "spot on" satire and a "pitch-black, bleakly hilarious vision of an American future", although the "plot, naturally, is silly and not exactly bound by logic. But it's Judge's gimlet-eyed knack for nightmarish extrapolation that makes Idiocracy a cathartic delight." In a review only 87 words long in Entertainment Weekly, Joshua Rich gave the film an "EW Grade" of "D" stating that "Mike Judge implores us to reflect on a future in which Britney and K-Fed are like the new Adam and Eve." The AV Club's Nathan Rabin found Luke Wilson "perfectly cast [...] as a quintessential everyman"; and wrote of the film: "Like so much superior science fiction, Idiocracy uses a fantastical future to comment on a present [...] . There's a good chance that Judge's smartly lowbrow Idiocracy will be mistaken for what it's satirizing."
In other countries the film was reviewed positively. John Patterson, critic for The Guardian (U.K.), wrote, "Idiocracy isn't a masterpiece — Fox seems to have stiffed Judge on money at every stage — but it's endlessly funny", and of the film's popularity, described seeing the film "in a half-empty house. Two days later, same place, same show — packed-out." Brazilian news magazine Veja called the film "politically incorrect", recommended that readers see the DVD, and wrote "the film went flying through [American] theaters and did not open in Brazil. Proof that the future contemplated by Judge is not that far away." Critic Alexandre Koball of CinePlayers.com (Brazil), while giving the movie a score of 5/5 along with another staff reviewer, wrote, "Idiocracy is not exactly [...] funny nor [...] innovative but it's a movie to make you think, even if for five minutes. And for that it manages to stay one level above the terrible average of comedy movies released in the last years in the United States."
Home media 
Idiocracy was released on DVD on January 9, 2007 with cropped and widescreen aspect ratios, deleted scenes, English and Spanish spoken language tracks, and subtitles in English, Spanish, and French. As of February 2007, it had earned $9 million on DVD rentals, over 20 times the limited theatrical release.
On September 1, 2007, Idiocracy opened for cable and satellite viewers on the Cinemax premium channel, and started airing on HBO networks in January 2008. On February 15, 2009, the film received its basic cable premiere, shown edited for TV on Comedy Central. One written use of the word "fuck" was still shown, in the parody of the restaurant Fuddruckers known as "Buttfuckers" (removed since the premiere).
Possible spin-off 
The idea of a dystopian society based on dysgenics is not new. H. G. Wells' The Time Machine postulates a devolved society of humans, as does the short story "The Marching Morons" by Cyril M. Kornbluth, akin to the "Epsilon-minus Semi-Morons" of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.
See also 
- "Harrison Bergeron"
- Demographic-economic paradox
- Fahrenheit 451
- Fertility and intelligence
- Flynn effect
- Infinite Jest
- William Shockley
- "The Marching Morons"
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- "Idiocracy". veja.com (in Portuguese). Brazil: VEJA. March 21, 2007. Retrieved 2010-09-16. "...o filme passou voando pelos cinemas americanos e nem estreou nos brasileiros. Prova de que o futuro vislumbrado por Judge não está assim tão distante."
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- Tremblay, Ronald Michel (November 4, 2009). "Humankind’s future: social and political Utopia or Idiocracy?". Atlantic Free Press. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
- Grigg, William Norman (May 14, 2010). "Idiocracy Rising". Lew Rockwell. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Idiocracy|
- Idiocracy at the Internet Movie Database
- Idiocracy at AllRovi
- Idiocracy at Box Office Mojo
- Idiocracy at Rotten Tomatoes
- Idiocracy at Metacritic
- Scenes from the film at the Fox Home Entertainment YouTube channel.