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Idiocracy (2006)

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I love dystopian films. It’s really fun to see dark future in various aspects like totalitarian government (like Nineteen Eighty-Four) or corrupt governments (like Escape From New York), but none of them scares me as much as what Idiocracy does. To me, this is the scariest dystopian film of all-time. Why? Because most of things in this film is happening right now! So, where should I begin?

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Dawn of the dumb
To say the least, it’s about a guy and a whore who participate in a government secret project about hybernation. Unfortunately, the project is forgotten and they wake up to the dark and desperate future of 2050….in which idiots rule the world.

But how does this catastrophe begin? Well, according to the intro narration…

“Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down. […] Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species.”

Then, we see a comparison between two couples. The first one is a smart one who chooses not to have baby and the later one is generic couple. You know, the one that has LOTS of babies and cheating on someone else’s wife or something like that. What does the film try to tell us? I think the film points out the problem we have in society: we evaluate successful by amounts of babies and chicks we have sex with. Instead of teaching kids to be smart and be responsible for their decision, society teaches us that you are a real man if you bang lots of chicks. Plus, our loop of life is kinda similar by now…we grow up, then find a job, then have kids, then grow old and watchi….wait a minute! I’m not reviewing Fight Club. So let’s get back to my analysis of this horrid future.

 

A quarter and a dumb
In 2025, the US becomes a corporatism. And, no, it’s not in the OCP style…it’s much much worse than that. There are advertisements everywhere (and most of them are plain stupid, like this one)

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Everybody repeats lots of brands over and over again (like Carl’s Jr.), and, the worst of all: a corporate conquers a government. The most memorable case is Brawndo. It’s an energy drink brand/company that…well, just let the narrator explain it.

“Brawndo – The Thirst Mutilator – had come to replace water virtually everywhere. Water, the basic component of all life, had been deemed a threat to Brawndo’s profit margin. The solution came during the budget crisis of 2330, when the Brawndo Corporation simply bought the FDA and the FCC enabling them to say, do, and sell anything they wanted.”

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This not only shows us how terrible a corruption between corporations and government can be (which leads to monopoly nightmare), it also leads us to the serious problem: the lack of water. Brawndo becomes available everywhere and it’s used for everything…from drinking to agriculture (we’ll get into that in a minute) to feeding babies!, while REAL water is available only when you want to flush bad things in toilet. Okay, we know that sports drink isn’t good for our health since it has tons of sugar, but lots of people still praise Brawndo only because a commercial says that it’s got electrolytes…although none of them know what it is. And speaking of electrolytes, you can see than Brawndo is clearly a jab at a famous sports drink. This famous brand also claims that it has electrolytes, too. Just like Brawndo, tons of customers buy it although they have no idea what electrolyte is. To tell you the truth, I bought it few weeks ago when I had to do final projects. I buy it because I know it refreshes me through adding sugar and substances through my body, not because of a commercial that constantly tells me about how awesome electrolyte is.

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Sex, violence, ass and stupid TV shows.
In future, men will be sex-crazed creatures who want nothing but getting laid with beautiful chicks. They love everything about violence (from shooting in the street to the brutal Running Man-style of game) and stupidity. Do you know what’s the most popular film? It’s called Ass. It consists of nothing but ass and farting sound for 90 minutes and surprisingly wins Oscar! But I’m pretty sure that most viewers remember “Ow, my balls!”, since it looks exactly like Jackass episode. Are we living in the Idiocracy world now?

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Common sense
This is the main topic of the film. People in the future are heavily lack of common sense and they do things stupidly. Remember what I said about Brawndo? Well, they believe that Brawndo can grow plants because it has electrolytes, although they have no idea what electrolytes are. This is the result of ultra-consumerism culture and lack of common sense. I mean, they use Brawndo to grow trees for several years and they still do it although it doesn’t work. At this point, they should notice that there’s something wrong here instead of praising electrolytes and they should use other substances.

It might sound weird to some people, but I believe that sometimes common sense works better than logic than you’ve heard from places. Just look at people who put iPhone in microwave because they think that will charge batteries, if they had had common sense, I’m sure they would have….er, you get the idea, right?

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Overall: This is a really fun and thought-provoking film, yet somehow scary as hell since lots of things depicted in this film are happening now. Don’t believe me? Read above lines again.

Thumbs up!

About The Author
Nuttawut Permphithak
Nuttawut Permphithak

A student who’s studying in marketing. He usually spends his free-time on watching movies, listening to music, reading books, and creating things you’re probably reading/listening right now.

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