Beavis and Butt-Head is, without a doubt, one of the funniest TV shows of the ’90s. Along with being a comically goofy work packed with an abundance of edgy toilet humor, it also was a pop culture beacon of sorts; given that the titular duo adore watching music videos, many bands would end up being featured in the adult animated show. Because of these features, the Beavis and Butt-Head show became a means for audiences to discover new music. This quality, along with the show’s comedic nature, has allowed Beavis and Butt-Head to be fondly remembered all these years later.
But here we are in 2022 and we have a second Beavis and Butt-Head movie. The duo’s first theatrical outing – Beavis and Butt-Head: Do America – made for a brilliant comedic venture, tapping into the character’s dumbass nature, while also offering an engaging (even at times intense) narrative. That said, while the idea of Beavis and Butt-Head making a return in cinematic form sounds intriguing, one can’t help but feel a slight sense of hesitation coming into this picture.
For years we have been enduring a constant cycle of reboots and remakes, with a plethora of works making sure to “wink at the audience” and clue them in on the revamped nostalgia they are taking in. The self-aware nature of modern Hollywood movies has become tiresome, but thankfully, Beavis and Butt-Head: Do The Universe avoids such irksome presentation. It very much embraces and expresses what Beavis and Butt-Head were in the ’90s (for better and worse).
The film opens with a Star Wars nod and then moves into a minor fourth wall breaking scene; Butt-Head and Beavis speak to the audience about a great adventure of theirs, and how said adventure began on a day just like any other day – then we get a fade in that involves Butt-Head kicking Beavis repeatedly in the balls.
These moments are truly fucking hilarious, for they present the duo’s absurd actions and understandings as normality. They are oblivious to the reality of life, and that makes everything they do all the more surreal and gut-busting funny. Some of the best comedic moments of the film are due to the random and straightforward nature of how stupid Beavis and Butt-Head are; their simpleminded approach to understanding things, the literal nature in which they speak, or how everything to them is a boner, butt, and fart joke, all come together for a brilliant flow of several laugh out loud moments. The comedy throughout the film shifts between that of edginess, dead-pan humor, and sometimes blatant shock over how stupid these two can be.
The narrative itself aids in further elevating the drive of these raunchy teenagers. Beavis and Butt-Head find themselves at space camp, and one misunderstanding leads to another, motivating them to take part in an actual space launch where they are expected to help out with an important task (but they think that they are working towards “scoring”). One thing leads to another and they find themselves teleported to the year 2022.
Much like Do America, Do The Universe also features a side cast that plays into the dumb-ass mindset of Beavis and Butt-Head; one particular group of individuals thinks that the teens are extraterrestrial beings who keep outsmarting them, but really, it’s just the boy’s dumb luck working in their favor.
But while there is so much working for Do The Universe, the film is also bogged down at times by how… dumb it is. At times, the film overloads one with so much straightforward delivery of purposely goofy and stupid humor, becoming a matter of “too much of a good thing.” The film’s pacing struggles to keep the humor fresh at several points throughout its runtime. This may be a thing that hardcore fans of the ’90s show can overlook, but if you are coming into this movie as a new fan – you may feel a tad taken back with how dumb things get.
That said though, Beavis and Butt-Head: Do The Universe is a predominantly hilarious time. Even with some wonky pacing issues there and then, the overall writing offers a mostly consistent flow of ridiculous fun. Throughout Beavis and Butt-Head: Do The Universe, our boys stay true to form.
Beavis and Butt-Head: Do The Universe is available to stream now on Paramount+