Idiocracy has become a cult comedy that predicted one of the bleakest futures for mankind. Where most films show technological wonders and neon lights, even if there's a dirty layer at the bottom, this one portrays a future where humanity is simply too stupid to keep going. Right in the middle of that future, a painfully mediocre military experiment "volunteer" who ends up the smartest man alive by default. Joe, alongside a prostitute named Rita, try to survive humanity's collapse and with that, we got a ton of interesting little things hidden throughout the flick. When you're essentially skewering modern life as we know it with the most pessimistic outcome, you can swing all day and not account for all the subtle references in this hilarious world. Here are the best ones.
When Joe and Rita end up in the giant garbage mountains they're freed when a certain little object begins 'The Great Garbage Avalanche of 2505'. Surely, any subsequent object would've tilted the overhanging pile but the thing that did it, was in fact, a perfectly recyclable aluminum can. It has no greater significance and isn't part of some recycling theme throughout the movie, just a nice kick in the guts for anyone lamenting Earth being used as a trash heap.
Every logo in the future is transformed in some way, except one. That's right, Fox News maintains the same logo throughout 500 years of decline. Whether the statement is that it's timeless, correlated, or responsible in some way for things being the way they are isn't addressed. The hosts of Fox News are hardly dressed either. They're little more than eye candy for viewers as they deliver vapid teleprompter-led reports and struggle to turn towards the videos they're presenting out of sheer stupidity.
At the beginning of the movie when we're seeing Clevon's family tree erupt, there are a few questionable branches. Mike Judge's animated father and son, Hank and Bobby Hill are there. There are also some animal representatives in a dog, chimp and a goat. Lastly, despite it making zero sense unless there's more time-travel involved than we get to see, there's Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, and Condolezza Rice. Various other sources have different lists of people they've spied in the extensive tree, so get your magnifying glasses out and pause to see if you can find even more weirdness in the Clevon clan.
The definition of a cult-classic in that it's original theatrical run was a blink-and-you-miss-it situation. Due to the studio not knowing how to market it, or not being willing to, it received a minuscule release to satisfy contracts and then went to DVD where it found an audience. As the world has gotten sillier and sillier it has attracted more and more viewers, so odds are it will end up being the most successful film ever made at this rate.
The bevy of companies who allowed their logos and names to be made fun of is unique among films. According to Mike Judge, the trick was to not pick on just one brand, but all of them equally. Similar to the time South Park couldn't say the word 'sh*t' once but were allowed to if they used it at a rate of once every '8ish' seconds. Besides Walmart and a couple of others, every other brand was cleared for use and Judge couldn't believe his luck.
Whether you usually do or not, check out everyone's feet! Mike Judge had everyone wearing Crocs! His thinking was that they looked stupid and nobody in their right mind would wear them. This coincided with their actual rise in popularity. By the time the film came out after a delay, Crocs were all over the place. Perhaps the earliest case of this film having a weirdly accurate eye into the future.
This movie shares a strange relationship with Ricky Gervais' film The Invention Of Lying. In both films, the protagonist ends up in a position where they can simply make up whatever they like. Everyone else around them is either too trusting or simple to not believe them. Both Gervais' character and Maya Rudolph's Rita use this to get sex/avoid sex but get paid. Also, like Joe, Gervais ends up wielding ruling power because of things getting out of hand. Idiocracy is way funnier though.
Only taking the role if he could remain silent to avoid a SAG card, Andrew Wilson played the legendary Beef Supreme during Monday Night Rehabilitation. This odd casting quirk came about due to Andrew having recently helped his brother Owen Wilson out of a deep depression that he blamed the Screen Actor's Guild for. Thus, he avoided getting involved with them but was able to star alongside his other brother, Luke Wilson.
Alumni from Mike Judge's other cult classic, Office Space, make appearances within this idiotic future. Michael Bolton/David Herman and Milton/Stephen Root both find themselves in the future. Herman as a member of President Camacho's cabinet and Root as a judge respectively. Both get to be hilarious in their relatively short parts, playing thorough idiots in power. That power? Brought to you by Carl's Jr.
The major takeaway you should have after watching this movie is how stupidly accurate its predictions have been! Things like electing fools into positions of power like President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho. To companies blithely poisoning water supplies like Brawndo. To bringing in one 'smart guy' and expecting them to fix everything. Famine, drought, the 'ecomeny', middle east peace, and everything else 'so easily and so quickly', like Joe/Not Sure. Fix everything, and also do it in (sing it with Terry Crews!) ONE WEEEEEEEEEEEEK!
We're so much closer to this future than we should be and watching this movie is simultaneously comforting and depressing, but always funny.