Top positive review
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Brutal satire disguised as low comedy
on 21 June 2017
Prescient, prophetic or puerile pap? Mike Judge’s brilliant 2005 gross-out brutal satire is all three and more. I absolutely loved this movie. It’s not just a guilty pleasure. It’s an absolute pleasure. In his hilarious 1973 slapstick movie Sleeper after waking up from a cryogenically frozen sleep 200 years in the future Woody Allen’s health food shop owner come jazz musician discovers a United States ruled as a police state. When Luke Wilson’s military librarian wakes up 500 years in this future he finds the United States in a near comatose state due to the out-breeding of the intelligent and educated by the more indolent of the human species. Judge’s future nightmare imagines a world bereft of knowledge, knowing nothing about engineering, agriculture and medicine, limping by thanks to the automation of basic societal functions by more intelligent ancestors. It’s an apocalyptic vision of a world gone dumb that Jonathan Swift would be proud of, a fantastical dystopian future exaggerating the increasingly pervasive intrusion of advertising and commercialism into contemporary life, the dysevolution of the English language into a stunted hip-hop grunting patois and a derisory disdain of anyone suspected of possessing insightful observations. The plot is basic and nonsensical but contains some marvelous moments. The Basil Exposition time-travel monologue is priceless while the Fox newscast seems nauseatingly credible. The imagined conclusion to the existing direction of travel is disturbingly plausible – a celebrity president presiding over a country whose inhabitants crave instant gratification. Already a cult classic, this is definitely a film to seek out.