Beavis and Butt-Head do the Universe Review
Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe will air on Paramount+ on June 23, 2022.
It’s been over a decade since we’ve heard of Beavis and Butt-Head, the slacker teenagers who brought us some of the best lowbrow humor ’90s TV had to offer. After the show ended its original run with a seventh season and then had a short-lived reboot in 2011, these two big-headed but small-brained scoundrels are back for a sequel to the first Beavis and Butt-Head Flick, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America. It’s also a sneaky way to bring these 90s pop culture icons into the future, with a new revival of the series at Paramount+ coming in the pipeline. It’s like they’ve never left, as they settle into a short but sweet 1.5-hour adventure that sees them grow into full-fledged astronauts and meet their smarter future selves – all in the name of scoring.
Worried that something has changed about them over the past decade? Do not be. Delinquent dumbbells are just as dumb as ever. In fact, when we catch up with them, it’s still 1998, and Butt-Head (Mike Judge) is kicking Beavis (also a judge) in the ‘nads at the school science fair to see how much long he can endure before fainting. The “experiment” quickly ends when the whole science fair goes up in flames, an accident that lands the couple in front of a judge who takes pity on them for being the “at-risk kids” that they are. The verdict? Guilty. The punishment? Space camp.
In a hilariously terrible misunderstanding, Serena Ryan (Andrea Savage), captain of the space shuttle Endeavour, employs Beavis and Butt-Head at NASA to do a job only they can do, involving a visual gag that will have you bursting with laugh immediately. Our dumb duo think it’s an elaborate production to get them to sleep with her, of course. Cue a sophomore frolicking through a literal black hole and back where Beavis and Butt-Head find themselves searching for Serena in an attempt to get laid, all the way to the future, circa 2022. Yes , it’s a fish-out-of-water time-travel comedy. Fortunately, it doesn’t take itself too seriously or rely too much on the same tired jokes you’d expect from other animated films of this ilk. It’s refreshing and original in that regard, and does a great job of introducing Beavis and Butt-Head to a new generation, both literally and as part of the story.
There’s no shortage of the same silly gags and college sex jokes you’d see on the show. Neither Beavis nor Butt-Head can understand even the most basic concepts. But Beavis isn’t just about dating a woman. He also has a soft spot, as evidenced by the fact that he mistakes Siri (yes, Siri’s real voice, Susan Bennett) on an iPhone for Serena. That’s real love: He dives into a very full Port-A-Potty with “all the shit” to get “Serena” back, because he can’t lose her. And there’s a heartbreaking moment where the boys confuse the concept of white privilege with permission to steal anything without repercussions. Beavis even has a moment to shine where he busts out his alter ego Cornholio once again, demanding that a prison provide its inmates with more “TP for their bungs.”
Visually, it may be the best Beavis and Butt-Head have ever seen. Titmouse, Inc. is on deck (picking up Season 8’s Film Roman) for stunning environments and realistic characters more evocative of the studio’s work on Metalocalypse and Superjail! than what we are used to for the series. The improved fidelity also gives a more obviously modern take on Beavis and Butt-Head. And the doubles? Mike Judge certainly hasn’t lost his touch as the titular characters, though the film has heavyweights like Gary Cole, Tig Notaro, and Jimmy O. Yang fleshing out the rest of the cast.
Let’s be clear: this is childish and sophomoric stuff. If you’ve been a fan since the very beginning, you’ll have a great time watching these two idiots. This is Beavis and Butt-Head in their purest distilled form. We don’t get much of that lopsided silliness anymore, and that kind of ridiculousness can heal the soul a bit if you let it take over. If you like the series, you will also like the movie. And that’s good, because with a whole new series on the way, you’ll want to be ready for Beavis and Butt-Head overload.
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