Monday 4 July 2022

REVIEW: Beavis and Butt-head Do the Universe (2022) - Starring Mike Judge as Beavis and Butt-Head

Review by Jon Donnis
Beavis and Butt-head Do the Universe has been getting rave reviews, and although I will admit I never really watched them back in the 1990s, from the odd episodes I have seen over the years, I always thought I should go back and watch them properly, but alas I never did.

Well now they have a new film out, as well as a two season TV show planned, so I thought I should sit down and give them my attention.

If you have never seen Beavis and Butt-head before, they are simply put a couple of teenage virgin slackers, famous for their apathy, lack of intelligence, dumb humour, and love of rock bands AC DC and Metallica.

The film starts in 1998 in Highland Texas, while at school, and kicking each other in the balls, they are told by a teacher that there is a science fair, which of course they were totally oblivious of. They decide to enter the fair, and before you know it, they have burned down their school. They end up in juvenile court, where the judge sees them as at risk youth and sends them to space camp at the Johnson Space Center.

While at the space centre they are playing with a space docking machine simulator, for them it is just a phallic toy for them to mess with, but NASA astronaut Captain Serena Ryan (Andrea Savage) sees them as having natural ability at docking spacecraft, so they are invited to train as astronauts. Of course, being dumb Beavis and Butt-head misunderstand Serena and think she wants to have sex with them, so they agree to the training believing they will have sex with her in space. Before you know it they have finished training and board the Space Shuttle Endeavour to study a micro black hole.

While in space, they of course create a disaster, there is not enough oxygen for all 7 astronauts to survive, 2 must sacrifice themselves, Serena volunteers, but Beavis and Butt-head once again think she wants to have sex with them, so they put on spacesuits and try to watch Serena through a window, from the outside. as they think she is getting changed. She sees them outside, furious with them she uses a spacecraft arm and flings them into space. They are sucked through a black hole, and are transported to 2022.

The boys now find the Pentagon hunting them, Serena (who is now Governor) looking for them so she can finish the job, as well as alien versions of themselves (Smart Beavis and Smart Butt-head) who need Beavis and Butt-head to go through a portal to save the universe.

As you can see the film plays with the absurd, and in a classic film formula, the stupid people miraculously survive their surroundings and the people looking for them think they are geniuses. And they find themselves in more and more ridiculous scenarios. A bit like Dumb and Dumber in many ways.

I didn't expect to like the humour, having never really been a fan of the original series, but I was pleasantly surprised throughout the film. I had some genuine moments of laughing out loud. The film moved along at a decent pace, and also avoided the problem that many 22-minute cartoon to film adaptions have, that being of stretching out a joke too long. The Simpson Movie suffered with that, as have the South park films. Beavis and Butt-head seem to get it just right in this film. There is no ridiculous musical number either to fill 5 minutes which is a classic trope of other cartoon to big screen adaptions.

The film is about 85 minutes long, which felt about right, it never dragged, and the jokes were all well written.

The Good
One of the better cartoon big screen films ever made. Really enjoyable, and if you like childish humour then this is a really good film.

The Bad
I cant imagine this film doing too well in the UK as we are just not as familiar with the characters as perhaps your average American is.

I loved it. Simple as that. This film makes me want to not only watch the new upcoming series, but also go back and watch the originals.

I score Beavis and Butt-head Do the Universe a solid 9/10

Out now on Paramount+ and Amazon -