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REVIEW: Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe Knows Exactly What It Is & Does It Well

Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe is a satisfactorily silly return for the titular duo that never loses sight of who the characters are.

Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe is a welcome return for the titular doofuses. Debuting on Paramount+ on June 23, the pair’s time-hopping adventure touches on the classic physical comedy that the series became known for, the cutting satire that was always hiding beneath the surface, and even finds a way to expand the universe to better fit the current climate. While it may not convince naysayers, fans of Beavis and Butt-Head (and goofy comedy in general) will leave their newest film satisfied.

Beavis and Butt-Head (both voiced by Series Creator/Director Mike Judge) are two best friends in small-town Texas from the 1990s. Simpletons with a disdain for anything that isn’t nachos or the idea of sex, the pair’s escapade gets them in trouble with the law. When the judge sentences them to Space Camp, the two end up flung into the distant future — of 2022. Upon arriving, the duo is informed by multiversal counterparts that it’s their duty to save the universe by resolving a hole that’s erupted in reality — all the while being chased by the astronauts who left them for dead and government agents suspicious of their intentions. Of course, Beavis and Butt-Head are too stupid to realize the danger they are in and are instead committed to the (mistaken) idea that one of the astronauts, Serena (Andrea Savage), might actually want to sleep with them.

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For fans of the original Beavis and Butt-Head, Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe will be a welcome return. The characters are perfectly rendered for the modern era, their idiocy allowing them to poke fun at all sorts of trappings of modern life. While some of these beats may seem obvious — Beavis more or less falling in love with a stolen phone’s Siri under the belief that it’s Serena is a little basic — most of the gags work thanks to Judge’s committed-as-ever performance as the pair. There are some serious laugh-out-loud moments during the run-time, and while the jokes aren’t necessarily surprising, they are consistently funny.

The best moments — as in the original show — hint at the satirical edge that exists behind much of Judge’s work, including a hilarious detour through a college that is likely the film’s best sequence. Twenty years since their debut, Beavis and Butt-Head remain fascinating in their simplicity, two dunces who find themselves increasingly important despite their actions, not because of them. The film’s supporting cast, rounded out by comedy regulars like Gary Cole, Tig Notaro, Andrea Savage, Nat Faxon, Chris Diamantopoulos, Chi McBride, Martin Starr, Jimmy O. Yang, and Stephen Root, are all strong fits in their minor roles, with Serena proving to be an over-the-top antagonist who gets just enough humanity to make her unique and understandable.

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For fans who might be getting their introduction to Beavis and Butt-Head with this modern adventure, the film does a solid job of laying out exactly who these two are and the kind of comedy they generate. Coupled with incredibly smooth animation courtesy of Titmouse, the film is able to mesh smooth motion and scale to accommodate the purposefully scratchy elements that exist around Beavis, Butt-Head, and their world at large. It’s a solid updating of the classic show while still feeling deeply based in the same world. If the humor at the heart of Beavis and Butt-Head has never been to your liking, then this isn’t the film for you — which is a shame because this is a masterful execution of very sophomoric comedy.

Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe will always sacrifice plot and character development for a laugh, which is honestly part of the charm. It’s a very lightweight film even when it is making some surprising points about modern culture, and it likely won’t be for everyone. For those who enjoyed the pair in their original form or can get behind some purely goofy comedy, then Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe is a great pick for a showcase of creative groin-kicks and chaos.

Stream Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe starting June 23 on Paramount+.

Brandon Zachary is an Associate Writer with Comic Book Resources and has written for CBR since 2018. He covers breakouts on comics, film, television, video games, and anime. He also conducts industry interviews, is a Rotten Tomatoes certified film critic, and knows SO MUCH about the X-Men. For requests, comments, or to hear his pitch for a third Avatar series that incorporates robots, you can contact him through bs.zachary@gmail.com.

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