This sequel to the surprise 1992 hit is strikingly similar in style and structure to the original. The humor of both films revolves around such transitory topics that it's hard to imagine either one standing the test of time.
Irrepressible Illinois teenager Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) now has his own apartment in a converted warehouse, from which he and his friend Garth (Dana Carvey) continue to tape the no-budget cable TV show that made them stars. Unfortunately it didn't make them stars enough; armed with backstage
passes to an Aerosmith concert, Wayne and Garth find themselves exiled to the green room with the undesirables. Moreover, Wayne's beautiful rocker girlfriend Cassandra (Tia Carrere) is about to sign a contract with unctuous record executive Bobby Cahn (Christopher Walken), who clearly wants to
take her to LA and out of Wayne's arms. Such tribulations convince Wayne that he must do something to take control of his life. In a dream interlude, Wayne communes with the legendary Jim Morrison, who instructs his disciple to arrange a giant rock festival in Aurora. The next day, to upstage
Bobby and impress Cassandra, Wayne announces the event--"Waynestock"--even though he has not yet booked any groups.
Freeform comedy bits ensue. Wayne meets Cassandra's conservative father from Hong Kong, who immediately engages him in a kung-fu match that hilariously parodies the awkward dubbing and stunt doubling of "chopsocky" films; Wayne, Garth, and their crew spy on Cassandra and Bobby while wearing
disguises that get them mistaken for '70s disco group the Village People; the naive, awkward Garth is seduced by a blonde bombshell (Kim Basinger) who eventually asks him to kill her husband, but he renounces her and finally pairs off with a lookalike admirer (Olivia d'Abo hidden under thick
glasses and a fright wig); Wayne enlists the support of Del (Ralph Brown), a retired English "roadie," who at first astonishes, and then bores to death, the gang with his outrageous tales of life on the road with various legendary rock bands. At the finale, Aerosmith providentially appears and
performs at Waynestock, making Wayne a hero. This time it's Bobby who's barred from backstage.
Like its predecessor, WAYNE'S WORLD 2 is based on a recurring sketch originally performed by Myers and Carvey on TV's Saturday Night Live, and is little more than a string of comic bits. The original film grossed over $120 million on a paltry budget of $15 million. This follow-up cost twice as
much to produce, thanks mainly to star-powered salaries, and brought more modest returns of about $45 million. The making of WW2 was fraught with gossip about the tight creative control held by star Mike Myers--the reason given for the absence of original director Penelope Spheeris. Spheeris's
place was filled by debuting helmer Stephen Surjik, a veteran director of the TV satire "The Kids in the Hall."
WAYNE'S WORLD 2 takes satirical potshots, some of them quite funny indeed, at everything from "jazz lite" maven Kenny G to films including JURASSIC PARK, AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, THELMA & LOUISE, FIELD OF DREAMS, THE DOORS, and JFK. Since it is pitched largely at the youth market, however,
one wonders how many '90s teens puzzled over the climax, which spoofs the ending of an ancient movie called THE GRADUATE. Meanwhile, many jokes are tied in with material so timely--some lifted from episodes of Saturday Night Live that aired just weeks before the film's release--as to push even
WAYNE'S WORLD's envelope of disposability.
The two stars have their comedy routine down to perfection, though Carvey, in a series of unflattering closeups, looks old enough to play Garth's father. Carvey has said that nerdy Garth was inspired by his own brother Brad, a successful inventor and co-designer of the Video Toaster, a popular
computer-editing system. Dana returned the favor by wearing a Video Toaster T-shirt in many of his scenes. The exotic Carrere manages the formidable feat of standing out even among the bevy of barely-dressed beauties who populate the sunwashed streets and lavish music clubs of "Aurora, Illinois."
Although WAYNE'S WORLD 2 beats its chest about how Wayne and Garth are content to remain in their good old American Midwest hometown, the picture's scenery betrays the true shooting locations in, of course, Los Angeles County. The estate of Jim Morrison sued to prevent the late star's depiction in
this movie, but an "amicable" settlement was reached. (Profanity, violence.)
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