Beavis And Butt-Head Do the Universe Synopsis: Blasting off on a NASA space mission in 1998, mischievous best pals Beavis and Butt-head time travel to the year 2022. As the NSA and U.S. government try to track them down, the clueless teens do their best to adjust to modern life.
The crass hijinks of Beavis and Butt-Head collide into our modern times with Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe. As an MTV kid, I grew up loving Beavis and Butt-Head for their sneering buffoonery and crass pratfalls. The duo always found hilarious ways to stumble into trouble and perplex people with their unsophisticated love of juvenile ideas.
It was not until I was older that I understood the true genius behind writer/director Mike Judge’s characters. At their best, Beavis and Butt-Head depict zeitgeist issues through the spectrum of two subjects with complete ambivalence to the world around them. The crass duo acts like a wrecking ball to cultural norms, bulldozing past people’s constant advocation in favor of their own simplistic and self-absorbed pursuits.
Following an 11-year absence for the duo, Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe finds Judge reviving his storied characters with winning results. The brisk 85-minute experience tackles our tech-obsessed and politically correct culture in a sharp satire of American buffoonery.
Judge, the mastermind behind timeless comedies like Office Space, King of the Hill, and Silicon Valley, remains a pointed voice in the genre. I’ve always loved how Judge marries opposing intellectual spectrums together in a way that satirizes the elites’ superiority complex and Beavis/Butt-Head’s overwhelming dullness. It’s a comedic style that allows audiences to bask equally in our leads’ hilariously simple-minded perspectives while poking fun at the self-righteous figureheads scolding them along the way.
Choosing a time travel narrative device is an ingenious platform for exposing Beavis and Butt-Head’s shenanigans into our current worldview. With Do The Universe, Screenwriters Lewis Morton and Guy Maxtone-Graham skewer dated ideologies on gender, technology, and privilege while adding a heaping of unsophisticated gags. The dissident approaches marry brilliantly together as the film aims at the arrogance and American Exceptionalism motivating both parties.
Unlike many other contemporary reboots, Do The Universe never forces self-referential barbs or cheeky tributes. Judge and company instead deliver a natural continuation of the series – one that understands the appeals of the original without constantly winking at the viewer. It’s also a joy to see Judge dawn the personas of Beavis and Butt-Head again, with the comedic stalwart seamlessly disappearing into the duo’s distinctive personalities (their signature laughs remain intact).
The final product isn’t quite a recreation of the character’s pop culture heyday. Judge’s perspectives as a screenwriter and director are sorely missing at times as Do the Universe endures some comedic inconsistencies. Thematically, this sequel’s more sporadic approach also pales in comparison to some of the duo’s best content.
Issues aside, Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe is still a delight in its vulgar pursuits. The politically incorrect duo continues to captivate and push boundaries, and I can’t wait to see what Judge and company have in store with the series’ TV reboot.
Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe is now available on Paramount+.
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