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Wayne’s World 2 (1993)

by on 2012/11/14

“It’s your movie, you’ll think of something.”

* * *

What struck me most about Wayne’s World 2 was the date of its release, a single year after the original. How many sequels are released with such alacrity which weren’t planned ahead and shot simultaneously?

You could argue it’s a mercenary follow-up, but I would disagree. Feeling generally on par with the first, its single substantial sin is being “just” more of the same.

At the start of this comic misadventure, the titular Wayne (So I Married An Axe Murderer’s Mike Myers) has left home, and lives in an old, abandoned factory. The place doubles as a stage to shoot Wayne’s World with his friends. However, the role of TV is reduced, with a new focus on concerts. The Doors’ Jim Morrison (Michael A. Nickles) appears in a dream, and suggests that a music festival be staged. To do so Wayne must seek out Del Preston (Ralph Brown), a legendary roadie, as well as a big name band.

Meanwhile, Wayne’s girlfriend, rocker Cassandra (Tia Carrere) continues to advance her career while avoiding the attentions of producer Bobby Cahn (The Dead Zone’s Christopher Walken).

Also meanwhile, his best friend Garth (Dana Carvey) is experiencing first love with Honey Hornee (L.A. Confidential’s Kim Basinger).

These threads cross over from time to time, but there’s not a great deal of interplay or unity. It’s all an excuse to do much as before, with celebrity cameos, pop culture parodies, and self-referential humour.

The guests include, for varying stays, Aerosmith, Drew Barrymore, Olivia d’Abo, Chris Farley, Charlton Heston, James Hong, Jay Leno, Heather Locklear, Ted McGinley, Ed O’Neill, Bob Odenkirk, Kevin Pollack, Harry Shearer, Robert Smigel, and Rip Taylor.

Surprisingly, my biggest disappointment may have been with my favourite cast member, Christopher Walken. Here, he’s a one-trick pony bad guy, never changing, fully formed from the beginning. While it’s always good to see him — especially as a producer (“More Cowbell!”) and dancer (“Weapon of Choice!”) — it’s unfortunate his antagonist is even weaker than his predecessor (Rob Lowe’s Benjamin Kane). He even manages to taint the original movie’s savior (Frank DiLeo) by association.

Fortunately, viewers like me who enjoy picking out the references will find plenty here to distract them from the evil Mr. Cahn: Batman, Calgon softener, Faberge shampoo, Field of Dreams, The Graduate, Jurassic Park, The Leprechaun, martial arts flicks, Mission: Impossible, Thelma and Louise, The Village People, and Woodstock.

And whenever things run out of steam — as they do perhaps a touch often — the proceedings gladly work in some post-modern acknowledgment of it. Lesser actors are replaced by better ones. (Or at least better-known ones.) Main characters address the audience, recount the story so far, understand how their tropes resemble John Hughes’, and find others using their catch-phrases against them. Dubbing and subtitling jokes return, as do stand-ins and multiple endings.

In short, if you enjoyed the first, you’ll likely enjoy Wayne’s World 2. They share a very similar appeal, which may be all you really want. Sometimes more of the same is just about right.

* * *

Rated PG

95 minutes

  1. brianhmoll permalink

    I thought the best reference in the movie was the one to the film The Doors by Oliver Stone. And The Graduate, of course. Otherwise, I don’t think it was as good as the original.

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