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Beavis And Butt-Head Do America (1996)

DVD Cover (Paramount Special Collector's Edition)
Movie Connections:
Beavis And Butt-head
> Beavis And Butt-Head Do America (1996)
> Beavis And Butt-Head - The Mike... (2005)
Genres:
Animated Comedy, Animated Feature Film, Animation, Comedy, Gross-Out Comedy, Road Movie
Directors:
Mike Judge Mike Judge
Mike de Seve Mike de Seve
Brian Mulroney Brian Mulroney
Yvette Kaplan Yvette Kaplan
Starring:
Mike Judge Mike Judge
Bruce Willis Bruce Willis
Demi Moore Demi Moore
Cloris Leachman Cloris Leachman
Robert Stack Robert Stack

6.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: November 08, 2007
Now here's an ironic little story. Last month, I was handed a copy of Beavis and Butt-Head - The Mike Judge Collection, Vol. 1 to review on this site, and just a couple of nights later, I saw Beavis and Butt-Head Do America sitting in the bargain bin. Knowing that I was going to be reviewing the aforementioned collection of episodes on here at some point, I went ahead and picked up the movie as well; after all, it's only fitting that the two releases be reviewed together, right?

Well, I watched those episodes and found that I didn't enjoy the show anywhere near as much as I did back when I was a teenager, so needless to say, I didn't have high hopes for the movie. After all, this was The Mike Judge Collection we're talking about here - the best of the bunch, so to speak. It was also the first volume, meaning that they were able to pick the very best that the show had to offer for this set. So, knowing that I didn't enjoy these ten minute episodes that happened to be the best of the bunch, what chance did I have of enjoying a ninety minute movie that was made to cash in on the success of the show when it was quickly losing popularity? Well, as it turns out, I did enjoy it... immensely, in fact.

Most of the television episodes began with the namesake losers plopped in front of their TV, and the film is no different; well, it wouldn't be much different if their TV was still there. Yes, the two boys wake up one day to find that their TV has been stolen, and this leads them on a search around the neighborhood in an attempt to find a way to get their fix of MTV and music videos (remember when they actually played those?). They eventually come across Muddy Grimes (voiced by Bruce Willis), a shady guy who mistakes them for being the two assassins that he's hired to kill his wife. The three chat about the situation, and Muddy finally lays down the deal: he'll give them ten thousand dollars to do his wife. Wait... "do" his wife? And get paid for it? Muddy and these two boys may not be thinking of the same thing, but faster than you can say "Score!", the deal is made and Beavis and Butt-head are on a plane across the country to find and "do" Dallas Grimes (voiced by Demi Moore). This eventually leads to the duo traveling across the country, seeing the sights, getting into all sorts of mischief, and - oh yeah - finding themselves carrying a weapon that could wipe out a large chunk of the population if it fell into the wrong hands.

What sets this apart from the television show is the fact that it relies on telling an actual story rather than merely placing the two in a silly situation, letting them giggle while joking about boobs, and generally being complete idiots for the ten minutes that the episodes ran for. Note that the film does include all of the above, but in my humble opinion, having a bona fide storyline to keep things going helped tremendously.

I also felt that the writing was a lot better here than it was in most of the television episodes. It seemed to me that most of the episodes relied on a simple gag - frog baseball, perhaps, or maybe couch fishing - and simply stretched it out for the length of the episode. This lead to plenty of episodes that were good for a chuckle, but they did tend to get tedious as the minutes ticked by and we realized that the jokes were already being rehashed. That's not the case here, as there's plenty of great and - dare I say it - smart material to be found from these two chaps.

Most importantly of all, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America is just downright funny. Watching these two travel the country and see the various landmarks and locations that America has to offer led to some great moments, and of course, there was also the large amount of pop culture and movie references. The Shaft-inspired theme music, attempting to score with Chelsea Clinton, the Lesbian Seagull song, the peyote experience in the desert, and of course, the Mötley Crüe roadies... this stuff was golden, and there was plenty of other material that was just as good.

For better or worse, don't expect just another episode of the show when debating picking this one out of the bargain bin. Some viewers may be put off by that, but personally, I found that it was miles above those television episodes in just about every way possible. 8/10.
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