Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Ani-MAY-tion Month: Beavis And Butt-Head Do America (1996)

I was never a fan of Beavis and Butt-Head. I have to start off this review with that confession. I'm still not a fan of their TV work, but that's because I have never gone back to give them another chance. I watched some clips years ago when MTV was still a bit of a novelty to us here in the UK (well, still a bit of a novelty to me, at least) and I just didn't find them that amusing. I'd rather watch the music videos that were featured on their show without any surrounding distractions. When this movie came out I had no interest in it at all. Then I started to hear some good word on it. And then some more, and some more. It seemed to be winning over even people, like myself, who didn't expect to enjoy it. So I took a chance and bought it. Thankfully, I ended up really enjoying it.

The story starts with our two main characters (both voiced by Mike Judge, who also directed and wrote the movie, with help from a few others) at a loss when their TV is stolen. On a quest for a replacement TV, they end up in the same motel room as Muddy Grimes (Bruce Willis), a man waiting for the strangers that he has hired to kill his wife. Misunderstanding the request, Beavis and Butt-Head are only too eager to accept the opportunity to "do" Dallas Grimes (Demi Moore). They immediately embark on a trip across America, and it's not long until the authorities are hot on their tail.

It might seem like Mike Judge is a one-man band at times, but he's helped here by Mike de Seve, Brian Mulroney and Yvette Kaplan in the directing department, and Joe Stillman and Brian Mulroney (again) helped with the script. That may explain why this movie is so enjoyable, but it may also be the case that Judge does better in the feature film context. Having enjoyed Office Space, Idiocracy and Extract, I suspect it may be the latter.

The main characters here are still as stupid and immature as they've always been. Judge is sensible not to change them too much, but the many supporting characters add a lot of humour. Cloris Leachman is a sweet old woman, unaware of the mindset of the young men who keep ending up beside her as they head towards the same destination, Robert Stack is a stern and determined ATF agent, and Eric Bogosian also provides a few different voices.

The animation style is in line with the TV show, the soundtrack has some great rock tracks on there (as well as the beautiful ballad, "Lesbian Seagull"), and there are a lot of laughs to be had as our two juvenile, horny teenagers wander around in a state of blissful ignorance while dangerous situations develop around them.

And I'll admit it, I crack up every time that Beavis has an identity crisis and starts to refer to himself as The Great Cornholio. It's not big, it's not clever, but it's damn funny.



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