Who knew that Mike Myer's screwy take on public access shows would be such a hit when Wayne's World debuted as a sketch on Saturday Night Live years ago. The simple premise of a goofy rocker named Wayne (Myers) and his best friend, the even goofier Garth (Dana Carvey) hosting a show and discussing what rocked and what sucked at the time lead to an incredibly successful feature film and, of course, an inevitable sequel, which brings us to Wayne's World 2. What makes this second film stand out from the first one? Not a whole lot, really - it really does feel like the rushed, half assed cash-in that it was, but it does have its moments.
Picking up where the first movie left off, Wayne and Garth have met with some success and are now, with some help from the ghost of Jim Morrison, trying to organize an outdoor music festival dubbed Waynestock. As they go about their business trying to make it all happen, Wayne's girlfriend, Cassandra (Tia Carrere) may or may not be falling into cahoots with a slimy record executive named Bobby Cahn (Christopher Walken) while Garth fends off the unusually aggressive advances of one Miss Honey Hornee (Kim Basinger). Will Wayne be able to save his relationship with Cassandra and still put on the concert of his dreams, to be headlined by Aerosmith, or will he lose it all and have no one left to snuggle with but Garth?
Wayne's World 2 is a dumb movie and it knows it. Pretending to be nothing other than a series of ridiculous gags, the film does feature some fun if completely unnecessary cameos from the likes of the late, great Chris Farley, Rip Taylor, Aerosmith, Heather Locklear, Bob Odenkirk, Robert Smigle, Kevin Pollak, Drew Barrymore, Harry Shearer, Jay Leno, Ed O'Neil and Charlton Heston of all people. While this cameos are a lot of fun, however, they can't make up for or cover over some rather unoriginal rehashing of the first film's ideas and gags.
Directed by Stephen Surjik, who proved he had a real knack for comedy with his previous work on the inimitable The Kids In The Hall (also produced by Lorne Michaels), the film moves along at a good pace but it doesn't have the whimsical sense of irreverence that helped the earlier picture strike box office gold. What this film has, however, is the 'Walken Factor.' His performance here is just creepy enough and laced with just enough unsettling quirk that it actually works really well, novelty casting or not. As far as the rest of the cast are concerned, Carvey and Myers deliver exactly the right type of performance and are, of course, perfect in their respective parts. Tia Carrere is fun to look at and just as wooden in front of the camera as she was in the earlier film, while Basinger, also fun to look at, somehow manages to steal most of the scene's she's in despite some great competition from Carvey.
Ultimately this sequel is a pretty enjoyable picture in its own right, it's just a shame that it's so repetitive and does so little to branch out from the first film in any way. On one hand, you have to appreciate a movie that delivers exactly what the audience wants from it and so the predictability of both the plot and the comedy is understandable. Further, this is Wayne's World 2 and not Citizen Kane 2, so keeping it all in perspective will obviously aid with your enjoyment. You just can't help but be left wondering how much better it could have been had the movie been just a bit more original.
Wayne's World 2 actually looks pretty good in this ACV encoded 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen1080p transfer. The visuals won't blow you away here as the film itself is pretty low-fi in most respects but there's definitely a lot more detail here than on the SD release and you'll notice it pretty much immediately. Colors look nice and natural without ever looking too artificial and black levels stay strong. You will notice some minor print damage throughout the movie that maybe could have been cleaned up but the fine grain that is present throughout is never over powering or distracting and there are no obvious problems with mpeg compression artifacts or heavy edge enhancement to note.
The English language Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack is very solid and, as it was with the video, a noticeable upgrade from its standard definition relative. You'll notice from the opening music all the way through the end credits that the music has more punch, the dialogue sounds cleaner and clearer and that the sound effects have just a bit more definition than they have in the past. Levels are properly balanced and there are no problems with hiss or distortion. Is this reference quality? No, it isn't quite as immersive as it could have been in spots, but it does sound very good. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound tracks are included as are subtitles in English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Carried over from the standard definition DVD release is the commentary track with director Stephen Surjik who speaks about working with Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey on the film. He talks about some of the difficulties of following up the first film, how they managed to get Aerosmith to appear in the film, and what it was like working with the various actors and comedians as well as how all the cameo spots came to be. It's actually a pretty interesting track, far more so than you'd probably guess given the mediocrity of the feature being discussed.
Aside from that, there's a fourteen minutes standard definition featurette about the making of the film entitled Extreme Close-Up which feels fairly promotional in spots. It covers how the Wayne's World phenomena came to be and how the various players were rounded up for the film and it also sheds some light on the career on the film's director.
Nowhere near as fun or entertaining as the first film, Wayne's World 2 is amazing in its mediocrity and in how blatantly it more or less copies the original movie. That said, it does definitely have its moments and fans of Carvey and Myers will probably enjoy it more than others. This is far from an essential purchase and while Paramount's Blu-ray release looks and sounds alright, the extras are pretty slim making for a disc you'll want to rent first.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.