Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe

Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe ★★★

There was one point about halfway into it regarding a stolen credit card and a nacho binge that induced a hearty laughing fit for a while, but most of this movie is "heh heh, heh heh, heh heh" chuckle-worthy at best. Watching the two of them just sit there and chuckle indefinitely without saying anything is actually funnier than the elaborate escapades of their latest misunderstanding-farce voyage, although for a while the writers do string together a well-thought-out series of semi-plausible coincidences to explain how they fail upward in a modern world they don't understand.

And the whole fish-out-of-water approach to them time traveling from the late '90s to 2022 remains inherently amusing the whole time precisely because Beavis and Butt-Head never even realize they're in the future, nor care about anything going on around them. Their dim-witted obliviousness to any plot machinations or potential for character growth is impressively consistent (*not counting one arc of Beavis getting in touch with his feelings, which threatens to become almost touching if you can believe it, but even that is coldly rebuked in the end, staying true to Mike Judge's pitiless worldview here).

Some of the signature bits like Cornholio, "fire!" and "he said [a word that can be misconstrued as inappropriate]" have fossilized beyond amusement though, if you ask me. Other than being nostalgic callbacks, they're just unfunny.

Better or worse than "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America" in 1996? Pretty much the same, as I recall. You could switch the two of them so that "Universe" came out in '96 and "America" in 2022, and disregarding the specific time capsule aspects of each (this one commenting on modern technology, "America" featuring the extinct species of Bruce Willis, Demi Moore and Robert Stack in the cast), for the most part it wouldn't make any difference. This movie isn't trying very hard, but the "franchise" never did. If anything it's a cute throwback to the lovable bonehead stoner comedies of the early '90s, from whence the original show was itself borne. But also, just like with the first movie, don't expect any traces of their TV gig as music video commentators. "Do the Universe" curiously ignores that that was ever part of their schtick.

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