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‘Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe’ review: Mike Judge launches the silly duo into the 21st century



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The dumbest animated duo on the planet make a semi-triumphant return in ‘Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe,’ which – unlike when they ‘made’ America 26 years ago – premieres through Paramount+. Basically, a long, silly misunderstanding is just enough to fill the black hole of senseless and inappropriate comedy.

Series creator/voice actor Mike Judge teams up with co-writer Lew Morton and directors John Rice and Albert Calleros in this latest adventure, which uses the tried-and-true plot device of having the central duo doomed to ” space camp,” where they are drafted for a mission that inadvertently takes them through a black hole from 1998 to 2022.

A new century brings new terminology into their confused teenage lives (“White privilege” included), not that deeper themes resonate with them. Indeed, the couple’s entire motivation is that they think the only female astronaut (Andrea Savage) wants to “do it” with them, resulting in an endless Abbott and Costello routine of double-meaning words that produce these characteristic “Heh heh” laughs.

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 observe derisively, “You’ve really brought your ‘A’ game today.” Their main appeal is that they remain so gleefully and unashamedly dumb that it’s hard to resist, even when exposed to the Watcher-like beings who represent the best alternate universe versions of them.

Much like the film released a quarter of a century ago, stretching the TV-forged interludes of Friends into a nearly 90-minute frame is a challenge, and the repetitive nature of the gags can’t help but produce diminishing returns. Still, “Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe” is generally inventive enough to warrant the return commitment, with conscious nods to the fact that Judge’s creation is truly an artifact of its time, leaning into the idea that it is an anachronism when propelled into the 2020s.

That’s not to say “Beavis and Butt-Head” brought their “A” game exactly, and indeed, it’s frankly hard to imagine what their “A” game would look like. “Intellectual Property” is a misnomer, but the film kicks off a mini-resurgence of the title after a hiatus of more than a decade, with a new series to join existing episodes on the streaming service. later this year.

Yet as the “B” games go, “Do the Universe” captures what rocked the show. Sure, it’s another throwback meant to extract value from nostalgia, but executed with a level of relentless silliness that, like its “stars,” will never be accused of overthinking.

“Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe” premieres June 23 on Paramount+.

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