Beavis and Butthead are back and so is their puerile brand of humour
If you were a fan of Mike Judge’s animated MTV comedy back in the 90s, you will likely want to catch up with Beavis and Butthead in their latest adventure which is currently streaming on Paramount+. But if you weren’t a fan of the juvenile duo and their sniggering innuendo, this probably won’t convert you.
You see, Beavis and Butthead haven’t changed. They are still the same characters you remember, right down to their age, even though the movie, for the most part, is set in 2022.
The original Beavis and Butthead series ended in 1997 but the irksome twosome came back for a short-lived reboot in 2011. They are due to be rebooted again for another new series in 2024 which is probably why the decision was made to bring them back for their second movie.
As you will quickly discover when the movie begins, time has barely moved on for Beavis and Butthead. The setting is their usual high school, the year is 1998, and the boys are as idiotic as ever, as can be evidenced in the opening scene at the school science fair when Butthead repeatedly kicks Beavis in the ‘nads to see how long it takes before he passes out.
It’s not long before Butthead’s actions backfire in calamitous fashion. After promising to give Beavis a break from nut-kicking, he uses a one-footed contraption that kicks Beavis into the air and this results in a fire that puts an end to everybody’s science experiments.
This accident lands Beavis and Butthead in front of a judge who is surprisingly lenient in his sentencing. After giving a speech about the need to protect ‘at-risk’ youth, he sends the boys to Space Camp to give them an opportunity to better themselves.
Of course, this is Beavis and Butthead so the chances of them bettering themselves are slim at best. They are sex-starved, dim-witted oafs, who are clueless about what is going on around them. But after a series of misunderstandings during training (including a scene involving a docking arm that causes the boys to get aroused), the people at NASA think the boys are cleverer than they are and recruit them for a space mission, much to the consternation of Serena Ryan, the space shuttle captain who has to lead them.
Beavis and Butthead think the space mission is an elaborate ploy by Serena to bed them and they continue to believe this, even after she tires of their antics and aborts them from the shuttle. After a run-in with a couple of lookalikes from another universe, the boys then travel forwards in time to Earth 2022 where there are thrilled to see the tiny televisions (smartphones) that people carry around with them.
From here, there are a series of fish-out-of-water gags as the inept teens become accustomed to modern life. Beavis falls in love with Siri on an iPhone (mistakenly thinking it is Serena that is speaking to him), they thrill to the fact that they can use a phone to buy anything they want, and after wandering into a lecture hall and misinterpreting a lesson on white privilege, they start to believe they have the right to do as they please. This leads to them being arrested and getting thrown in prison.
There is nothing particularly deep about the plot – it’s as silly as the old TV episodes from the 90s – but you wouldn’t expect a Beavis and Butthead movie to be particularly meaningful anyway. Everything is just a setup for the teen protagonists to make their usual sex jokes as they blunder around from one scene to the next creating chaos in their wake.
It’s the movie equivalent of marmite so won’t be for all tastes. As I suggested earlier, if you are a fan of Beavis and Butthead’s brand of comedy, you will probably bust a gut at their comedic mishaps and puerile innuendos. But if you’re somebody whose eyes roll whenever somebody sniggers at the words ‘hole’ or ‘touching,’ you will probably want to back away from this animated revival.
I was never a huge fan of the original show and the movie didn’t do much to tickle my funny bone. But while I’m not a part of the Beavis and Butthead Appreciation Society, I did enjoy the talented voice cast, which includes Tig Notaro, Martin Starr, and Mike Judge (who voices the teen protagonists), and I liked the updated animation style which is superior to what came before
There was certainly a lot of effort put into this, so even though the gags rarely landed for me, I didn’t feel like my time had been wasted after watching it. It’s not a movie I will watch again but if you chuckle at jokes relating to body parts and bodily functions, you might consider this movie suitable for re-entry (heh-heh).
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Verdict - 6/10