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01/25/2007 Archived Entry: "I have seen the future, and it scares me."

I have seen the future ... and it frightens me.

Debra here. This evening my husband the movie buff brought home the latest Luke Wilson movie, Idiocracy. Basic plot premise: perfectly average guy (so average, in fact, that I can't remember the character's name) is frozen for 500 years and emerges as the smartest man in a world of idiots .

The plotline and story are fairly predictable: spunky prostitute who learns the error of her ways, lazy underachiever who learns the error of his ways, lots of bathroom and crude sexual humor. This ain't Shakespeare.

The highlight of the movie -- in reality, the only reason to watch it -- is its absolute skewering of the dumbed-down American populace.

The sequence explaining why people in the future are such incredible morons is hilarious, attributing the decline to smart people being bred out of existence ("We're waiting for just the right time."), while the less intelligent breed like rabbits ("Damnit Earl, Ah'm pregnint agin!")

No one reads; they simply sit in their recliners (featuring a built-in toilet) and watch their plasma screen tvs (featuring the hit comedy "Ow, My Balls!") all day long.

Speech is a combination of hill-billy, urban slang, and surfer. The protagonist is repeatedly referred to as a "fag" for his enunciations, proper grammar, and words of more than two syllables.

The President of America (no, not the United States ... America) is a former pro wrestler who begins teleprompted speeches with, "Shit. I know shit's real bad right now and shit..." He interrupts hecklers with an extended burst from a full-auto machine gun.

The country borders on starvation because crops won't grow. (Hint: through aggressive marketing, water has been replaced by a sports drink ("It's got electrolytes!")) No one knows what to do because the few scientists there are focus their work exclusively on curing hairloss and prolonging erections.

My favorite scene was when the protagonist visits a hospital. As he attempts to explain his problem, the mouth-breathing woman behind the counter gazes blankly at him in confusion, then attempts to find the appropriate icon for his symptoms on a large keypad of colorful childlike icons in front of her (picture a McDonald's cash register). Finally she is forced to press the large "???" button.

A supervisor (who looks about 18) takes over. "Dude, you're like, you know, messed up! I mean, shuh, yeah, like, totally, it's all whirrrrrrrrr, you know?" The protagonist has to flee from the hospital since he doesn't have a tattoo which would allow him to pay for his services. He's thrown in jail, but escapes with the clever ruse of, "Hey dude? Yeah, I'm supposed to be getting OUT of jail, not going in..."

There's plenty more along those lines, and while I laughed, I also despaired as I could truly envision such a world.

The movie ends pretty much as expected. Hero gets off his ass and saves humanity and gets the girl (who has learned the error of her ways), all is well ... or as well as it can be in a world of idiots.

I don't recommend it for Movie Snobs (and you know who you are). Nevertheless, for the rest of us, it's definitely worth a "Dollar Night Rental".

Posted by Debra @ 08:41 PM CST

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