Beavis And Butt-Head Do The Universe Review: MTV's Morons Make Moves On The Multiverse

It's been 26 years since the world's dumbest duo, Beavis and Butt-Head, starred in their own major motion picture. In "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America," Mike Judges' chuckling cartoon creations accidentally ind themselves the subjects of a nationwide manhunt after a wanted criminal sews a doomsday device into Beavis' tighty whities. The boys end up safely back at home, and aside from their short-lived 2011 revival series on MTV, haven't been heard from since. 2022 is the year of their return, however, with all of the original episodes finally being made available for streaming on Paramount+, along with a new revival on the streamer. Not only that, but they're back for another full-length feature film, "Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe," which takes the madness of the first movie and turns it up several notches while still staying true to the series' satirical side. 

Beavis and Butt-Head, the teenage boys voiced by Judge who wreak havoc everywhere they go through the sheer force of their stupidity, are surprisingly lovable characters. They're ultimately idiots who say and do some very ignorant things, but they're not malicious (well, not most of the time, at least). They're sort of like a lowest common denominator Bill and Ted, though they unite people not through the goodness of their hearts but their ability to ruin everything they touch. If you've ever wondered who the warning labels on hair dryers or chainsaws are for, then look no further than Beavis and Butt-Head. So what happens when these two end up flying with NASA into outer space? And could their cataclysmic stupidity actually cause an interstellar cataclysm? As the great science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein said, "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity."

Bringing Beavis and Butt-Head to the 21st Century

The world has changed quite a bit since Beavis and Butt-Head were last in it, and Judge had to create a creative workaround to bring them up to date without being middle-aged men. After all, it's funny for a couple of high school students to be chortling, sex-obsessed morons, but it's kind of sad to continue that behavior into adulthood. The movie begins in 1998, not too long after the events of the first film, with the two knuckleheads attempting to study what kicking one another in the testicles does to them "scientifically" for the school's science fair. Their project ends up burning down the whole gymnasium, but instead of being sent to a juvenile detention facility, the judge in their case decides to give them a chance to prove themselves by going to NASA space camp. He sees their stupidity as a failing of the school system and society, and hopes that the camp will set them on the right track. There, they practice on a simulator for space docking, using it as a giant pretend masturbatory device, and the NASA brass think they might be the perfect people to help out during an important upcoming space station docking between a U.S. shuttle and the Russian space station, Mir. Much like "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America," the pair end up in increasingly bizarre situations because people misinterpret their juvenile humor as something else. People give them the benefit of the doubt time and again because surely, no one can be that stupid. (They're wrong, of course.)

As a result of their space adventures, Beavis and Butt-Head end up going through a black hole and end up in 2022, miraculously without aging and without harm. Once back on Earth, they return to their initial, ongoing mission: to lose their virginity. The movie retreads some of the same ground as "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America" with regards to its overall plot, as both films center around the two thinking they're going to "score" with an older woman and being sorely mistaken, but it's still a whole lot of fun. The setting has changed dramatically, as the idiotic things the boys said in 1998 get very different reactions today. In one sequence the two end up in a feminist theory class in college, and the way the professor and Beavis and Butt-Head completely misunderstand one another feels right, somehow. 

It's been 26 years, but Judge hasn't missed a beat. The movie pokes fun at the ridiculousness of our modern world without ever making overt political statements or heavily referencing pop culture, making it a refreshing little escape from our own real-world stupidity. The boys even discover that they've spawned a multiverse, complete with "Smart Beavis" and "Smart Butt-Head," but the joke doesn't overstay its welcome and Judge doesn't use it as an excuse to make a bunch of gags about multiverses in media. Instead, it's just a tool (huh huh ... tool) to force two versions of the characters to interact. It's as genius as it is stupid, and that's why it works. 

Whether new audiences will appreciate the ill-advised antics of television and cinema's greatest cartoon chuckleheads is yet to be seen, but fans nostalgic for Cornholio, double entendres, and all of the "huh huh"s are sure to be overjoyed. There's a lot of comedy to be mined simply in watching two dudes from 1998 try to make sense of 2022, and their idiocy only makes it funnier. There's something deeply and weirdly comforting about the fact that the entire world has changed, but Beavis and Butt-Head are still completely the same. "Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe" premieres exclusively on Paramount+ on June 23, 2022.

/Film Rating: 8 out of 10