Wayne's World 2Overview -
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
As far as the pantheon of sequels goes, 'Wayne's World 2' will not be remembered amongst the worst, but it won't quite make the list of 'great sequels,' either. It rests, somewhat uncomfortably, in the middle ground. One that doesn't negate the charms of the first film through sheer awfulness, but also doesn't push the boundaries to any new or interesting places.
Originally conceived as a remake of an old comedy which would have seen Wayne (Mike Myers) become the ruler of a small European country, rights fell through shortly before filming was set to begin. That meant the filmmakers had to scramble to put together a new, "original" version of 'Wayne's World 2' very, very quickly.
One thing was for sure - they needed to bring back Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey), the two loveable cable access hosts of the popular 'Saturday Night Live' sketch and stars of the successful first movie. (Tia Carrere, as Wayne's hard-rockin' girlfriend, would also return.) Everything else seemed to be, more or less, a question-mark.
When 'Wayne's World 2' was finally complete, it was left as an odd, misshapen beast. Parts of the movie feel really fresh and original in that sort of pop culture-saturated mentality of the first film gone totally nuts. The fourth wall is broken more often, there are more nutzo asides, and the plot often seems inconsequential (at best). There's a lengthy, "dubbed" fight sequence for crying out loud, and the duo hatches a plan to put on a rock festival called Waynestock (zing!)
And while these diversions are fun, they are often weighed down by the leaden commitment to copying the first film in every other conceivable way. There's the smarmy badguy who threatens to take away Wayne's girlfriend (Christopher Walken, standing in for Rob Lowe), there's a climactic moment where Wayne leaves Garth so he can reunited with his lover, and the duo's continued attempts to stay sane in suburban America (where much of the warm, observational humor comes from).
Sure, it's unsatisfying and awkward, but it does maintain a certain amount of charm that no amount of manufactured sequel-itis can squash. It's also got more Garth (Dana Carvey), whose role was famously reduced in the first film thanks to Myers' rampaging egotism, which is always a good thing, especially since he gets a love interest in this one - Kim Basinger at the height of hotness. Schwing!
The video for the first 'Wayne's World' Blu-ray was fairly impressive and this one, not so much. The 1080p, 1.78:1 AVC transfer is decent (I'm sure it's the best it's ever looked, quite frankly), but isn't quite as strong an image as on the previous disc.
Colors aren't as vibrant, with the entire film having a more washed out look, with slightly more noticeable grain. This is disappointing considering the different kinds of wacky locations (like the Communist book store) and situations Wayne and Garth find themselves in (a scene out of 'Jurassic Park,' interacting with Charlton Heston, engaging in a Village People musical number).
Flesh tones are okay, blacks are nice and deep, but overall you won't be dazzled, or even all that impressed. A lot of the daytime scenes look good, with an added visual punch towards the finale's big Waynestock musical performance. But beyond that, this is a largely forgettable transfer of an equally forgettable film.
Again, on the audio front, things are decent but not exactly noteworthy. The disc features a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless mix that pretty much follows the formula of the first film. Since this comedy, there's a lot of crisp, clear front channel dialogue.
Unlike the first film, this one is even more heavily indebted to rock 'n' roll. And these are scenes that really offer an immersive experience. There's an Aerosmith concert sequence towards the beginning of the movie that packs a truly impressive punch, with a solid, thudding bass. (This is mirrored at the end of the movie, when the band takes to the Waynestock stage.)
I wouldn't say this is better or worse than the first film, but it does, thanks to the schizophrenic nature of the movie, offer more variety. There might be a greater range and warmth to the sound mix this time around, but again: the musical sequences really shine, and everything else is simply adequate.
Other audio options included in the disc are: French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, subtitles in English, English for hard of hearing, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
NOT. EVEN. THE. TRAILER. For shame, Paramount, for shame.
- Audio Commentary with Director Stephen Surjik This commentary is, in a word, boring. Surjik lets long pauses go in between thoughts and anecdotes, many of which are totally trite and unfunny. Also, his thick Canadian accent is enough to put even the most Red Bull-wired cineaste to sleep. You can go ahead and skip this one.
- Extreme Close-Up (SD, 14:06) This is a slight making-of doc that mirrors the one on the original's disc. Unfortunately, all the dirt has been scrubbed clean from these talking-head-style interviews (with Myers, Carvey, Carrere, and producer Lorne Michaels) so there's no talk about the failed remake attempts, Myers' blistering egotism (which is the reason original director, Penelope Spheeris didn't return), or the difficulties in finding an audience (this more or less tanked at the box office). So, you know, while there are some funny stories told (by Carvey mostly), this is also pretty skippable.
'Wayne's World 2,' despite its best attempts, is an unworthy successor to the original, and a weird movie that never quite gels. If you enjoyed this mix of needless Xeroxing and pop culture-enriched insanity, then by all means, go for it - the audio and video are adequate, and a marked improvement over previous releases. Still, this is FOR FANS ONLY.
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