REVIEW: “Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe” (2022)

I don’t know if there has ever been a more fittingly named duo than Beavis and Butt-Head. For fans of their eight-season show that ran through the mid-90s, their names bring immediate images of two oblivious, insanely moronic, nacho-loving, “scoring”-obsessed teen slackers from Highland, Texas who were the personification of rank stupidity at its funniest. They released their own feature film in 1996, and believe it or not they’re back with a sequel some 26 years later.

“Beavis and Butthead Do the Universe” (streaming exclusively on Paramount+) sees creator Mike Judge return to the characters he made infamous. Judge co-writes and voices the doltish duo in yet another absurd adventure that’ll have you shaking your head and laughing aplenty. Going in I had two questions: 1) How on earth could Judge and his co-writer Lee Morton make these two VERY 90’s characters fit in a modern-day story? 2) Would they still have the same unabashed politically incorrect humor that made them the beloved imbeciles they became?

Image Courtesy of Paramount

As it turns out yes, Judge and company do have a story idea to bring Beavis and Butthead to the modern-day. It’s utterly ridiculous, but that’s to be expected. And yes, “Beavis and Butthead Do the Universe” has the exact same mind-meltingly stupid sense of humor that is sure to thrill fans while leaving some newcomers in a state of utter bewilderment. I mean, it’s the kind of movie that’s so boldly honest about it’s stupidity that it advertises itself as “the dumbest science fiction movie ever made”.

The story goes something like this. In 1998, Beavis and Butthead inadvertently burn down (literally) the Highland High School Science Fair. They’re arrested and appear before a judge known as the toughest in the state when it comes to sentencing. But instead of sending them to jail, the judge (inspired by an episode of “Touched By An Angel”) sends our two “at-risk youths” to eight weeks of NASA space camp. What could go wrong?

As it turns out, everything! Beavis and Butthead arrive at Johnson Space Center (I shouldn’t need to tell you joke there) and for all the wrong reasons become enamored with a space station docking simulator. They impress astronaut Serena Ryan (Andrea Savage) who invites the boys to join NASA’s space mission to study a black hole. They accept after misinterpreting Serena’s invitation as an offer to “score”. Of course things go awry and the pair find themselves sucked into the time-jumping black hole that drops them into the ocean near Galveston, Texas in the year 2022.

Image Courtesy of Paramount

In our time, Serena is the state’s governor, and after seeing her re-election billboard the boys set out to “complete their mission”. From there its Beavis and Butthead clashing with modern society in a steady number of comical encounters, some of them laugh-out-loud hilarious while others not as much. The funniest comes when they crash a college gender studies class and are informed of their white privilege by the professor (voiced by a pitch-perfect Tig Notaro). Adding to the silliness, the dimwitted Feds set out to apprehend Beavis and Butthead after misconstruing their time-jump as the arrival of two potentially dangerous aliens.

It all comes together in a ludicrous but admittedly funny stew. The decision by Judge and co-directors John Rice and Albert Calleros to stick with the classic formula was most definitely the right one. And the culture clash element allows for some hilarious moments. On the negative side, fans might be disappointed by the absence of the show’s wonderful blend of side characters (I was). And just like the MTV television show in the 90s, this movie won’t be for everyone. A little of Beavis and Butthead can go a long way. But to the filmmaker’s credit, they deliver exactly what they promised. Decide for yourself whether that’s a good thing or bad. “Beavis and Butthead Do the Universe” is streaming exclusively on Paramount+.

VERDICT – 3.5 STARS

7 thoughts on “REVIEW: “Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe” (2022)

  1. I hope to see this as I’m a fan of Beavis & Butt-Head back in the day as that show was the shit and it introduced me to NIN and a lot of cool music. I hope Beavis is the one who “scores” as I feel like he is a much nicer guy that has a bit of respect for women no matter how dense he is at times.

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