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Paramount+’s Beavis And Butt-Head Do The Universe Review: Very, Very Stupid, And Very, Very Funny

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Paramount+’s Beavis And Butt-Head Do The Universe Review: Very, Very Stupid, And Very, Very Funny

While surely not part of any kind of actual plan, it’s bizarrely perfect that 2022 is a year that audiences see the tandem return of Jackass (in the form of Jeff Tremaine’s Jackass Forever) and Beavis & Butt-Head (in the form of Mike Judge’s Beavis & Butt-Head Do The Universe). Both have origins that tie back to the early decades of original television programming on MTV, but more importantly, both brands have a genuine awareness of what they are – and what they are is “very stupid.” There is an unabashed immaturity that is at their core, and they share a comedic sensibility that can best be summed up with the perspective that a man being hit/ smacked/whacked/etc. in the testicles is fundamentally hilarious.

Obviously this is not everyone’s cup of tea, and critics/parents have been raising objections to the material since the shows’ respective inceptions. But both Jackass and Beavis & Butt-Head have found incredible success speaking directly to the audience they know perpetually exists, and an unwillingness to grow up even after 20/30 years of existence has led to wonderful contemporary success.

Back in February it was utterly delightful to see Johnny Knoxville and his friends return to purposefully destroy their bodies and abuse one another for our amusement in Jackass Forever, and now the same can be said about the titular duo in Beavis & Butt-Head Do The Universe – who have not evolved in any single way since they were introduced back in the early 1990s, and for that we can be thankful. The circumstances in which they find themselves are more extreme than ever in the new feature, but the results are still the same: which is to say they’re still inducing forehead smacks, disbelieving head shakes, and hysterical fits of raucous laughter.

Bringing us back to the year 1998, Beavis & Butt-Head Do The Universe opens with the latter kicking the former repeatedly in the groin – with the background of the activity being the high school science fair. As you’d expect based on the pair’s history, things end up going horribly wrong and multiple explosions occur, leading the two teenage idiots to find themselves in a courtroom facing sentencing. Rather than dolling out a typical punishment, however, the judge (Chi McBride) is inspired by an episode of Touched By An Angel to show leniency towards the boys, and he offers them the opportunity to attend a NASA space camp instead of sending them to juvenile hall.

While at the special science course, Beavis and Butt-Head prove themselves bizarrely adept at executing a penetrative docking maneuver, and it gets them an opportunity to travel to space and try it for real – though their interpretation of the offer is that they are going to the cosmos for the purpose of having sex with the mission’s leader, Serena Ryan (Andrea Savage). When their true incompetence reveals itself to extreme levels, Serena attempts to have them killed so that she can save the rest of her crew, but instead she sends the morons on a journey through time and space that sees them travel through a black hole back to Earth in the year 2022.

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It plays fast and loose with plotting, but Beavis & Butt-Head Do The Universe is a ridiculous and fun adventure.

That may seem like plenty of plot for a film that comes in under an hour-and-a-half long, but truth be told that description only barely scratches the surface of all the things that happen in Beavis & Butt-Head Do The Universe. Once they return to Earth, the protagonists are endlessly determined to take Serena up on her “promise” and get laid for the first time, and while that takes them on a journey from one ridiculous circumstance to the next, they are also pursued by both Serena and agents from the FBI – the former wanting to kill them before they can spill any secrets, and the latter wanting to examine and dissect the heroes as sci-fi mysteries… And then there is also the intermittent appearances of a Beavis and Butt-Head from an alternate reality who desperately try to get the duo to commit to a plan that will save the fate of the universe.

Structurally speaking, the movie is kind of a mess, and at no point do you have any clear idea of where it is headed next. But that chaotic energy works for Beavis & Butt-Head Do The Universe in a way that wouldn’t work for just about any other film because it speaks directly to the way that the characters function (which is to say completely without any kind of real logic).

As it veers from an extravagant nacho buying montage, to a prison riot sequence, to a long ride with the characters in a portable toilet, it doesn’t really make any sense, but it works because Beavis and Butt-Head themselves don’t register how utterly insane their journey is. Mike Judge’s only mission seems to be to try and squeeze as many laughs as he can out of the material, and it’s thankfully a mission that proves to be a success.

Beavis & Butt-Head Do The Universe won’t convert any haters, but it will delight all pre-existing fans.

With its time travel story and toe-dipping into the multiverse, one can certainly register an attempt to literally modernize Beavis and Butt-Head, and part of the fun of the film is seeing them adjust to elements of the modern world like smart phones – but mostly the movie is a celebration of the fact that these characters don’t change, and after more than three decades that’s actually pretty remarkable. Popular culture has evolved a great deal since the 1990s, but the perversion, lazy double-entendres, and lacking attention spans are all as giggle-inducing as ever. Mike Judge knows what fans what with the duo, he doesn’t hesitate to deliver full bore, and it’s fantastic.

Those who have never cared for Beavis and Butt-Head will still find no joy in Beavis and Butt-Head Do The Universe, and I have no idea if it will speak at all to newer generations – but it can be said with absolute certainty that the movie is a gift to Gen X and Millennial fans, and it should be cherished for the genuine idiocy that it is.

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‘The Terminal List’ Review: Chris Pratt Stars in Your Dad’s New Favorite Show

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‘The Terminal List’ Review: Chris Pratt Stars in Your Dad’s New Favorite Show

Whether you love or hate Chris Pratt, the career he’s built for himself is certainly respectable. Initially breaking out as the lovable doofus Andy Dwyer in Parks & Recreation, Pratt soon was on his way to becoming of the one biggest movie stars in the business. He’s Star-Lord in the MCU, is one of the main faces of the massively successful Jurassic World films, and has lent his vocal talents to critically acclaimed animated flicks like The Lego Movie and Onward. Even in more straightforward action films like The Tomorrow War or The Magnificent Seven, Pratt has managed to bring in some of that goofy everyman presence that made him a star. That makes his involvement in the new Prime Video series The Terminal List a bit of a head-scratcher.

It’s not that The Terminal List is a bad show; it’s insanely entertaining, with some expertly shot and well-choreographed action set-pieces, and a serviceable, albeit cliché tale of revenge. In other words, it’s one of those shows your dad will love watching alongside new episodes of Jack Ryan and Bosch. But its overt self-seriousness and commitment to grit can often get in the way of allowing Pratt to be himself onscreen, or at least bring some of that charm that fans of his are familiar with.

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RELATED: ‘The Terminal List’ Images Reveal an Intense and Gripping Military Thriller

Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by former Navy SEAL Jack Carr, The Terminal List centers around James Reece (Pratt), a Navy SEAL who returns home in a state of disarray after an operation gone terribly wrong leads to his entire platoon being ambushed. Upon his arrival back to the states, Reece begins to doubt his own memories and recollections of previous events and suspects that he may be one of those responsible for the attack on his platoon. When the blood and violence start to follow him back to the stateside, causing numerous personal tragedies and putting those he loves in danger, Reece takes matters into his own hands, embarking on a ruthlessly cruel path of revenge.


The Terminal List without a doubt delivers when focusing on its action. It’s a blend between Reacher and Commando, with shades of the anti-establishment and anti-war themes of First Blood. One may be quick to dismiss Pratt’s James Reece. He’s not your typical action hero, and some of the lengths he undertakes in his revenge tour would likely even make John Wick blush. There’s even a scene that feels straight out of Mortal Kombat, featuring Pratt’s Reece ripping out the intestines of an adversary and hanging him. It’s a pseudo-Punisher type tale and at times it’s hard to buy a typically likable presence like Pratt in this type of role. He has the physicality down, but there’s a bit of a disconnect, especially since the show’s writing often doesn’t do the audience any favors in knowing whether to condone the actions of his character. While it’s easy enough to buy into the misfortunes that plague its protagonist, the series never does enough to make James Reece feel human.


The supporting cast around Pratt is impressive, despite some being ludicrously underutilized. Taylor Kitsch‘s performance as Reece’s ally Ben Edwards is one of the biggest highlights of the series. Both Kitsch and Pratt are at their best in their scenes together, with authentic chemistry that makes the brotherly bond they have for one another palpable, and it’s their interactions that give the show the majority of its emotional elements. After initially risking overexposure in the early 2010s, it’s truly nice to see Kitsch getting these types of roles that genuinely bring out his charisma. Jai Courtney is another major standout as Steven Horn, a shady businessman who becomes one of Reece’s primary targets. Courtney seems to know the exact kind of project he’s in, feeling much more like the villain out of a nineties action flick but never feeling out of place, playing the kind of antagonist that you love to hate. Constance Wu is another winner amongst the ensemble as Katie Buranek, a journalist who becomes an unlikely ally to Reece. While an unlikely addition to the cast, Wu plays off both Pratt and Jeanne Tripplehorn extremely well. Riley Keough, who has proven in the past to be extremely talented, isn’t given much to do as Reece’s wife to make an impression, despite being listed in the main cast.

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It’s the generic nature of the writing and execution that is the biggest hurdle for The Terminal List and in the end, it just barely squeaks by. The story itself is insanely predictable and even casual viewers will likely see every twist and turn the series throws at them within the first two episodes. Shows like Reacher succeeded in providing successful misdirects and revelations that had audiences at home jumping to the next episode. With The Terminal List, those who are willing to commit to all 50+ minute episodes, will likely just be tuning in to see what kind of crazy things Pratt does next. The series is undeniably watchable and despite the length of each episode, the story never feels too overstuffed to the point where it drags, but it is also far too simple and any moments of genuine excitement aren’t there.


The Terminal List is not some disaster, nor is it unwatchable. In fact, it’ll likely garner a huge following and become a hit for the streamer, but a film might have been the more beneficial route to take, especially for Pratt’s performance and the overall story. Prime Video has delivered plenty of action-revenge tales; in fact, they seem to have a firm grasp on it with films like Without Remorse, much like Netflix has a grasp on the romantic comedy genre. But at the end of the day, a story this simple shouldn’t be this damn long. Pratt has long shown an interest in portraying military roles on screen, as can be seen through his social media as well as his roles in films like Zero Dark Thirty. It’s no mystery what attracted him to this kind of project, and he is at the point in his career where he is free to take risks, but it comes at the cost of losing that natural charisma he’s brought to other roles. As a show to watch alongside your dad during the summer months, it’ll likely do the trick, but this isn’t the kind of show that’ll garner much discussion — at least until its inevitable second season.

Rating: B-

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The Terminal List premieres July 1, exclusively on Prime Video.

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Minions: The Rise of Gru Review: An IQ Lowering Origin Story

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Minions: The Rise of Gru Review: An IQ Lowering Origin Story

Illumination’s gibberish-babbling, Twinkie-shaped henchmen return in a brainless CGI sequel meant for young children. Minions: The Rise of Gru will lower adult IQ points in a seventies themed origin story that struggles mightily to fill ninety minutes. Big action sequences are sprinkled around a slim narrative that introduces the primary Despicable Me characters. I chuckled a few times as the indecipherable Minions, bombastic new supervillains, and a nascent Gru (Steve Carell) battle over a powerful artifact. More often than not I was hideously bored by a franchise that’s completely run out of creative steam.

The film opens in 1975 with an eleven and three quarters Gru (Carell) dreaming of becoming a supervillain. He idolizes Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin), the butt-kicking geezer leader of the Vicious Six. Gru doesn’t know that Wild Knuckles has been ousted by Belle Bottom (Taraji P. Henson) after the group stole the legendary Zodiac Stone medallion. Gru is ecstatic to receive an interview to join the Vicious Six. He appreciates the Minions building his first evil lair but feels they may be holding him back.

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The Vicious Six laugh themselves silly when Gru shows up. He’s just a kid. Their tune changes when Gru snatches the Zodiac Stone. A chase ensues with Gru and his loyal Minions rocketing through the city streets. Gru gives the rotund Otto (Pierre Coffin) the medallion to hide; which he promptly loses. Gru’s anger turns to hero worship when he’s kidnapped by Wild Knuckles. Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto (all voiced by Coffin) must find the Zodiac Stone then travel to San Francisco to rescue their beloved leader.

Related: Mr. Malcolm’s List Review: A Funny & Charming English Period Romance

A Flimsy Plot

Minions: The Rise of Gru tries to make up for its flimsy plot by milking seventies pop culture. Jaws, Afros, Tupperware, pet rocks, and of course, Kung Fu, take center stage on the Minions quest. The film is also loaded with the decade’s toe-tapping musical hits from Black Magic Woman to Funkytown. The grooviness and visual cues distract to a point; then becomes filler material for a script with zero substance.

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I will give the animators credit for a solid action spectacle. You can see where the blockbuster budget was spent; apart from Steve Carell’s salary and the musical rights. The Vicious Six, Wild Knuckles, and Gru create mayhem with their eye-popping gadgets. The grown up baddies duke it out in cartoonish brawls. The Minions join the fisticuffs after a crash course under the tutelage of Master Chow (Michelle Yeoh). The Chinatown climax looks impressive.

Illumination Needs a Fresh Perspective

The Minions are akin to a piece of gum that’s losing flavor. It still looks bright, yellow, and appealing but has been chewed to rubber. The previous films had endearing qualities. They were silly and humorous with a healthy dose of heart. The latest iteration is pure fluff. It ekes out a few giggles over a strained runtime. Minions: The Rise of Gru is solely meant for a kindergarten audience. I have no doubt it will slay the summer box office and spawn further sequels. Illumination needs a fresh perspective with these characters and the franchise.

Minions: The Rise of Gru is produced by Illumination. It will have a theatrical release on July 1st from Universal Pictures.

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‘Ms. Marvel’ Episode 4 Review: Chaos and ClanDestines Come to Karachi

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‘Ms. Marvel’ Episode 4 Review: Chaos and ClanDestines Come to Karachi

The Khans are headed to Karachi! Well, two of them are anyway. Following last week’s Ms. Marvel, where Sana (Samina Ahmad) told her granddaughter Kamala (Iman Vellani) to come visit her in Pakistan with her mother (Zenobia Shroff) to solve the mystery of the bangle, the episode opens with the two of them on a plane, Karachi-bound. But just because they’re flying halfway around the world together does not mean all is forgiven after the stunt Kamala pulled at Aamir’s (Saagar Shaikh) wedding. Though Kamala is more than willing to explain to Nakia (Yasmeen Fletcher) what happened, it seems she doesn’t seem quite as willing to share with her mother.

They arrive in Karachi in a scene familiar to anyone who has ever flown to visit family in that part of the world, where the airport is packed with more family than can possibly be needed to convey the travelers to where they’re staying. In Kamala’s case, her grandmother is accompanied by her cousins Zainab (Vardah Aziz) and Owais (Asfandyar Khan), who are around Kamala’s age and are eager to show her around.

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Before they can do that, Kamala and Muneeba head back to Sana’s house, where she and Kamala get down to the real reason for their visit. While Muneeba remains under the impression that Sana wanted them to visit because her mother isn’t getting any younger, Kamala and her grandmother set about trying to solve the mystery of the bracelet, of the ClanDestines who want to take it, and of why they both shared a vision of the train Sana took from India to Karachi. Sana repeats information Kamala already has: that they’re genetically djinn and that as a child she found her father at the train station by “following a trail of stars.” But the firsthand account seems much more matter-of-fact, and less the wistfulness of a daydreaming woman Kamala’s family seemed to think it was.


RELATED: How ‘Ms. Marvel’s Comedy Offers a Relatable Look at the MCU’s First Muslim Superhero

While out with her cousins, Kamala is determined to investigate the train vision further and begs off the coffee shop excursion to make her own way to the train station instead. There, her search is interrupted by Kareem (Aramis Knight), a member of the underground group known as the Red Daggers. When he realizes who Kamala is, he brings her to the Red Dagger headquarters where their leader Waleed (Farhan Akhtar) gives Kamala some added context for the ClanDestines.

He assures her that they are not the djinn she’s heard of from legends or religious texts, and explains that the nickname is merely a by-product of where they happened to arrive when crossing from their dimension into Kamala’s. This is a relief, to say the least, as it would be very disappointing if the MCU’s first Muslim superhero was also genetically linked to a group of beings often misused and misunderstood by Western storytellers. By making the ClanDestine’s djinn alias more of a nickname used by those who didn’t know better, it nominally ties them to the part of the world where they appeared while clearly marking them as separate.


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Waleed then goes on to tell Kamala that if the ClanDestines get their hands on the bangle, and use it to open the veil of Noor that separates the two dimensions, the hidden dimension they came from will spill over and devour Kamala’s, making it essential that she keep the bracelet away from them. That, however, is proving to be more and more difficult as Najma (Nimra Bucha) and the other ClanDestines break out of the Department of Damage Control’s custody and head to Karachi. The only one who does not accompany them is Kamran (Rish Shah), as Najma feels she can’t trust him in this.

In and around the exposition and the lore that spills out in this episode, writers Sabir Pirzada, A. C. Bradley and Matthew Chauncey, and director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy make plenty of space to examine not only the diaspora experience, but also the experience of those growing up in the shadow of generational trauma. While Sana spends the bulk of her time in her home, surrounded by memories of all that she lost, both during Partition and when her daughter left for America, Kamala’s cousins are not so similarly haunted by the past. They know their history, of course, but while their grandmother lives with the memories and consequences of choices made by British colonizers, Zainab and Owais are proud members of a yacht club, which is a colonialist institution if I ever saw one. True, it’s frequented by locals, but locals who still uphold a certain idea of class and social hierarchy. Neither Sana nor Zainab and Owais are wrong for the way they live. Generational differences are a tale as old as time. But to those whose families lived through a major upheaval in their way of life, there is familiarity in the dichotomy between those who live for the memory of what was, and those who live looking to make the best of what is.


The one major downside to this episode is the prolonged chase scene with the ClanDestines tracking down Kamala and Kareem. It’s true this is a feature of superhero shows, and Ms. Marvel is no exception, but there are only so many alleys to run down, trucks to dodge, and stalls to trip over before the whole thing starts to feel repetitive. The action scenes in previous episodes benefited from either being short or containing some kind of tension beyond Kamala’s immediate survival. In the third episode, when a fight breaks out at the wedding, there is the constant worry that someone will see her powers — a tension that paid off when Nakia caught Kamala using them. But here, the people of Karachi are simply too calm at the sudden influx of flying trucks and teenagers being chased by dagger-wielding assassins.


The sequence does end with another wild cliffhanger, however, something this show does especially well. Najma stabs Kamala’s bangle and opens what appears to be a hole in space-time, dropping the 21st-century girl from New Jersey smack in the middle of a train station in Partition-era India. If they’re really going the time-travel route, it’s possible Kamala might be the source of the “trail of stars” that reunites her grandmother with her father and therefore ensures Kamala’s own existence. But I suppose time will tell.

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Rating: B+

The first four episodes of Ms. Marvel are streaming now on Disney+.

Read More about Ms. Marvel:

‘Ms. Marvel’: Trailers, Release Date, Cast, and Everything We Know So Far About the Disney+ Series

‘Ms Marvel’ Cast and Character Guide: Who’s Who in the Disney+ Series

How to Watch ‘Ms. Marvel’: When Is the MCU Series Streaming Online?

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