Film Reviews

Wayne's World 2

The production notes to Wayne's World 2 begin, "What's new with Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar? They've cut their hair, enrolled in college and are working nights -- NOT!!!"

Unfortunately, the flack here had a better idea for a movie than did writers Bonnie and Terry Turner. If Wayne and Garth actually attempted the above plan, we might have a story. Instead, all the boys are trying to do is put on a music festival, and the only question the movie raises is whether Aerosmith will actually show up for the concert. If you can't figure out the answer to that one well in advance, then you might actually enjoy the concert. And you might even enjoy the entire limp assemblage of gags and parodies that is Wayne's World 2.

The first parody, of Oliver Stone's The Doors, is at least germane to the noodle of a story here. A semi-naked Indian approaches Wayne and leads him on a mystical desert journey, at the end of which Wayne meets Jim Morrison. Morrison tells Wayne that, in order to give his life some meaning, he must put on a big concert in Aurora, Wayne and Garth's hometown. The movie is not above having Morrison tell Wayne, "If you book them, they will come." Nor is it above repeating that most obvious and least interesting of lines throughout the movie.

At this point the movie begins to shamelessly recycle from the original film -- the four guys thrash in time to another song on the car radio -- and throw in vignettes and parodies that first-time director Stephen Surjik either can't or won't make relevant to the story at hand. Garth's fling with Kim Basinger's character develops at the level of a cartoon, and then is simply dropped. After she finally makes Garth a real man, he responds with a Cary Grant imitation. The movie goes on to parody badly dubbed kung fu movies and reproduce, at stupifyingly great length, scenes from The Graduate.

ut -- who cares? The parodies aren't nearly so witty or pointed that they'd appeal to people old enough to remember Mrs. Robinson, and the movie's most appreciative audience -- pre-teen boys, I would say -- won't have a clue.

Mostly, though, Wayne's World has gotten old. It was a bit of a miracle that Penelope Spheeris found so much life and charm in directing the original. Now, when we get a closeup of Garth about to get his first kiss, we see just how old Dana Carvey is under that wig. And Mike Myers' self-contented grin has made the perhaps inevitable descent from good-natured to smug. This party's over before it starts. -

-- David Theis

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David Theis
Contact: David Theis