Roush Review: ‘Future Man’ Is a Delightful Sci-Fi Spoof

Future Man - Eliza Coupe, Josh Hutcherson
Brandon Hickman/Hulu
A janitor by day/world-ranked gamer by night is tasked with preventing the extinction of humanity after mysterious visitors from the future proclaim him the key to defeating the imminent super-race invasion. Tiger (Eliza Coupe) and Josh Futturman (Josh Hutcherson), shown.

Even in the improbable event that you’ve never seen the many sci-fi/fantasies (The Terminator, Back to the Future, Minority Report, especially The Last Starfighter) the gloriously silly Future Man openly cribs from, you’ll likely get a kick out of the way this outrageous time-tripping, action-comedy subverts the tiresome angst of the current Marvel invasion with a truly marvelous and hilarious twist on reluctant heroism. Having delivered one of the year’s top dramas in The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu continues on its roll with one of the late fall’s funniest comedies.

“Why would anyone play video games if you could just do a bunch of really cool s–t in real life?” argues nerd supreme Josh Futturman (The Hunger Games’ likably sheepish Josh Hutcherson), a meek janitor who lives with his parents (a touchingly goofy Ed Begley Jr. and the late Glenne Headly in a lovely final performance) and whose only skill set seems to be limited to the joystick.

Josh is understandably shocked to be declared “The Savior” of humanity by a dynamic duo of fearsome warriors zapped back in time from a nightmare future in 2162. Recruited for his video-game prowess, the hapless Josh soon and repeatedly disappoints the fierce Tiger and Wolf (Eliza Coupe and Derek Wilson, both sensational), whose bloody and violent methods he keeps trying to curb in 2017 Los Angeles.

As unsuited as Josh is to save the world, the larger-than-life action figures from the future are just as out of place in today’s more timid society, where blowing up cop cars is somehow frowned upon. Their cheeky mission, which somehow involves a scientist with herpes (Keith David), the 1969 moon landing and a smart house designed by a fantasy-movie legend, is a foul-mouthed yet relentlessly clever delight.

Future Man, Series Premiere, Tuesday, Nov. 14, Hulu