Since their inception in 1993 lording over the MTV channel and hilariously narrating music videos, Beavis and Butt-Head have become enduring pop culture icons whose every return are cause for celebration. This newest revival comes in the form of a follow-up sequel to 1996’s Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, this time entitled Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe. That first feature film came out during formative years of my young existence, and I admittedly rewatched it on VHS more times than I can count. Do the Universe may not be an instant-classic, but as a fan of the franchise, it accomplished precisely what I wanted: more time with these brilliant characters.
After a preposterous 3D-style Star Wars intro, Beavis and Butt-Head give a warm welcome from the comfort of their familiar couch. The duo promise a story of “sex, violence, power, and fire,” and that is exactly what we get. The Highland High School Science Fair is here, and naturally, Butt-head has made it his mission to see how many times he can kick Beavis in the balls before he passes out. However, when they hear what the winner will receive, they change their tune. NASA camp for the winner? They must be dreaming! An “accident” of gargantuan, fiery proportions results in their arrest. A curious judge takes pity on them, then sees an opportunity to unlock the boys’ “true potential.” He promptly sends Beavis and Butt-Head on their way, sentencing them to eight weeks of space camp!
Heading off to space camp ends up being the catalyst for the rest of the film. Beavis and Butt-Head take great joy in messing with the “docking” maneuver of a giant new telescope that will be used to observe a small wormhole. When those in charge take notice of the undying commitment of Beavis and Butt-Head to “stroke” the telescope up and down, they are recruited to head into the space to execute the docking in real-time. From the line “the government wants to train our schlongs,” I knew we were in for a ridiculous good time! Eventually, Beavis and Butthead get whacked off their ship and go careening through space until they plunge right into a black hole.
I could imagine a wild number of scenarios or hijinks that Beavis and Butt-Head would get themselves into, but try to remember that this isn’t exactly Rick and Morty. Instead, our lovably doofy boys end up in 2022, where they encounter Smart versions of themselves, are seen as extraterrestrials by the Pentagon, pursue their obsession with nachos, and make it their mission to be the first versions of Beavis and Butt-Head to ever “score” in any dimension. Yes, the ultimate endgame to this series is two teens racing to lose their virginities, and in a way I cannot envision anything more wholesome.
The scope doesn’t always feel as wide as Do America but it’s still extra fun and very stupid—just as a Beavis and Butthead movie should be. A backwards-car-chase is a late-film highlight, as are numerous scenes that had me laughing out loud, including one where a family asks Butt-Head to take a picture of them in front of a scenic dock. The ending is cute and satisfying, and even with an injection of modernity, Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe remains faithfully true to the established tone of humor and core of the characters. Mike Judge will certainly not win over any new converts, but Do the Universe gave me great joy in revitalizing this world.
Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe dives into a blackhole, then gets unleashed for audiences everywhere on Thursday, June 23rd, exclusively on Paramount+.