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Beavis and Butt-Head Do The Universe ★★★★



Directed: John Rice & Albert Calleros

Cast: Mike Judge, Gary Cole, Nat Faxon, Andrea Savage

Release: June 24nd, 2022 (Paramount+)

Legacy Sequels and Multiverse movies are two things that are all the rage in cinema right now. From Jackass Forever to Everything Everywhere All At Once, we have been spoiled with some terrific pieces of film (let’s forget the likes of Jurassic World Dominion and Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness).

Now enter Mike Judge and his classic characters Beavis and Butt-Head into the pantheon of these latest cinematic trends. As a member of the MTV generation, this show has a special place in my heart, along with their feature-length debut Beavis and Butt-Head Do America. Mike Judge brings his characters back to the world in Beavis and Butt-Head Do The Universe.

In 1998 mischievous best pals Beavis and Butt-Head are sent to a NASA Space camp after causing havoc during the science fair. Somehow they impress NASA with their skilful hands and end up on a Space Shuttle mission. After ruining the mission, they end up stranded in space and are sucked into a black hole, and end up in 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.

Bringing legacy characters to 2022 is not easy, but Mike Judge does this with great ease and wondrous joy. Beavis and Butt-Head Do The Universe has the charm of the original series and brings so much social relevance to the 21st century. The show was well-known for its social commentary on youth in the late 90s, and Judge harnesses this power and explores youth culture and societal change in 2022. It follows Do America’s blueprint but feels more elevated due to the modern twist, and these nacho-loving lads are thriving in this new century.

What’s fascinating with this sequel, in particular, is you see the evolution of these characters. While their lack of common sense may still be light, they are developing an emotional core. Beavis realises his worth within the duo beyond being the side-kick. This new sense of self-respect develops into him learning to love and becoming potentially a political deity as the Great Cornholio. These evolutionary traits have been years in the making, but they enhance the viewing experience for anyone attached to the original show.

The sweet spot of Beavis and Butt-Head is the teenage humour it’s so well known for. It never requires swearing or extreme situations; it thrives off dialogue that they can play with and find their teenage kicks from. While their goal always seems to be the same ‘scoring’, the journey they always go on are wild, bold and hilarious. As they try to make sense of 2022, they come across gender divides, white privilege and the internet. For them, they take the literal from everything they come across, but that’s why Mike Judge’s creation does so well. You can laugh at Beavis and Butt-Head’s interpretation of the world, but their naive thoughts make you think about the broader picture on the topic they tackle.

Beavis and Butt-Head Do The Universe is one of the better legacy sequels of 2022 and demonstrates how relevant they are now, just as they were during the late 90s.

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