‘Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe’ review: Mike Judge launches the dimwit duo into the 21st century
Series creator/voice guy Mike Judge teams with co-writer Lew Morton and directors John Rice and Albert Calleros on this latest adventure, which employs the tried-and-true plot device of having the central duo get sentenced to “space camp,” where they’re drafted for a mission that inadvertently vaults them through a Black Hole from 1998 into 2022.
As always, if Butt-Head is a moron, Beavis somehow resides a rung or two below him on the evolutionary ladder, at one point prompting the former to derisively observe, “You really brought your ‘A’ game today.” Their main appeal is that they remain so cheerfully and unabashedly stupid that it’s hard to resist, even when they’re exposed to the Watcher-like beings who represent the best versions of them from alternate universes.
Much like the movie unleashed a quarter-century ago, stretching the pals’ TV-forged interludes out over a near-90-minute frame represents a challenge, and the repetitive nature of the gags can’t help but yield diminishing returns. Still, “Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe” is generally inventive enough to justify the return engagement, with knowing winks to the fact that Judge’s creation is very much an artifact of its time, leaning into the idea that it’s an anachronism when propelled into the 2020s.
Still, as “B” games go, “Do the Universe” captures what made the show tick. Sure, it’s another throwback intended to wring value out of nostalgia, but one executed with a level of relentless silliness that, like its “stars,” won’t ever be accused of over-thinking things.
“Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe” premieres June 23 on Paramount+.