Beavis And Butt-Head Do The Universe Review Roundup: laugh-filled and perfect for streaming

"Beavis and Butthead: Running Through the Universe" opens today at Paramount+.

Most critics, as is often the case with long-dormant IPs, have focused on whether the formula that made Mike Judge's original series a 1990s cultural phenomenon will still work in 2022. And almost everyone agreed that fart jokes and kicks to the groin hold up as comedy gold, even if the format used to deliver them sometimes feels dated.

"Beavis and Butthead: Running Through Space" currently has an impressive 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It may not be nominated for an Oscar next year, but the overwhelming majority of reviewers who have seen the film agree that it is a delightful 84 minutes and is on par with its crappy predecessor.

Critics commented:

Indiewire's Kate Urbrand was thrilled to see the two restored to their crudely rendered two-dimensional glory:

[B]What has changed little is the crude 2D style of animation. Totally unfazed by life's twists and turns, Beavis and Butt-Head return to Highland High School in search of their true dream: "Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe" fails to fully capitalize on every possible plot, antics, and diversion, but this dynamic, goofy duo creates a case for returning for more inexplicable silliness (heh heh, it's "wack"). Certain things never go out of style, and that includes dim-witted bromance duos who are adept at finding themselves at the nexus of significant events in human history. We missed you two.

In a review in The Hollywood Reporter, Daniel Feinberg praised Judge's ability to scale up the series in a way that made it a feature-length work: as with 1996's "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America" Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe" is not a watered-down version of the 22-minute TV episode, but one designed for feature length. The plot, in which Beavis and Butt-Head's desire to get laid leads them on a journey through time and space and across Texas, is full of complexity and has ample justifiable narrative detours, including college and prison. The animation quality has not improved dramatically, but there are actual set pieces, such as the lengthy car chase at the climax, and there is no shortage of wonderfully silly musical montages. The plots have all moved forward as well. As with the previous film, this is not a piece to comment on video or MTV shows. [15][16] Time's Stephanie Zacharek appreciates that Beavis and Butt-Head has changed little over the years: "[Beavis and Butt-Head] was both a satire and a straightforward celebration of the mighty Id. 25 years on, a lot has changed, but Beavis and Butt-Head has not. Today, it's hard to get wickedly clever, whether in comedy or anywhere else, and the fun of "Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe" is that these two didn't get that memo. Indeed, they know no better fun than kicking each other in the nuts: ...... But they are their own worst enemy. The joke is always on themselves. And they get caught up in every gag, trying to escape any attempt at rehabilitation or redemption. As cartoons, they are free in ways we never can or should be. May their anuses always be supplied with an abundance of TP.

According to AA Dowd in The Guardian, even if the final product is lackluster, their constancy underlies its appeal:

Beavis and Butthead don't actually grow in Do the Universe. They are incapable of growth. Their utility as satirical figures rests on their irredeemable dumbness, their impossibility to change, teach, or rehabilitate. Thankfully, time has not diminished the smart, dumb comedic value of their personas. A better sequel, however, might have found more meaningful tension between these timelessly dumb kids and the ongoing trivialization of the America in which they were placed. Heh, heh, heh, I said "shove off."

And Screen Crush's Matt Singer, who thinks the film is well worth streaming, argues that the duo's performances haven't aged perfectly:

Still, it's hard to imagine Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe at its full potential, and even if the overall package feels a bit old-fashioned in 2022, it's still a laugh riot. That's where the streaming math comes in. Would I recommend this movie if I were paying $18 to see it in a movie theater? But the film is available for streaming on Paramount+ for $10/month.

"Beavis and Butthead Go to Space" is a Paramount+ release produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and Titmouse. Matthew Mahoney serves as executive producer, with Mike Judge, Lou Morton, Michael Rothenberg, Chris Prynoski, Shannon Prynoski, Ben Kalina, and Antonio Canobio. Directed by John Rice and Albert Carreros from a script by Judge and Morton.