WAYNE'S WORLD 2, 1993
Directed by Stephen Surjik
Starring: Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Christopher Walken, Tia Carrere, Chris Farley
Review by Matthew Toffolo
The inseparable duo try to organize a rock concert while Wayne must fend off a record producer who has an eye for his girlfriend.
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As what usually happens in the land of Hollywood, when a surprise hit movie appears out of nowhere on the radar, the studios immediately sign the creative talent to make another film as quickly as possible. They probably started writing the sequel to Wayne's World right after the opening weekend box office numbers came in for the original in early 1992. They had a hit and now they wanted the franchise. It's a greedy business sometimes (or most times) and Hollywood likes to milk things as far and as long as they possibly can.
Unfortunately for them, this wasn't going to be Mike Myer's franchise film. Wayne's World came and went very quickly as people did not respond to it very well. Which at the time I felt to be very strange as this was a much stronger film than the original. There was an actual emotional character arc happening and Wayne actually learned something. But many would argue that was exactly why the film didn't work. Wayne and Garth were just supposed to be their usual underachieving snarky selves. They weren't suppose to grow up and be actual adults.
Wayne's World 2 is all about how Wayne needing to actually attempt to achieve something in his life. And this really angered the fan base because, well..... most of them probably haven't achieved something in their own life. Wayne was their symbol for being cool. He told them that they didn't need to work hard or have any sort of life plan in order to be happy. Now he was selling them something different and they hated him for it.
The first 15 minutes of Wayne's World 2 tells us that this is not your typical Wayne's World experience. The boys attempt a joke at a drive-through that fails, get left out of the party during the Aerosmith concert and get "out-cooled" by Wayne's girlfriend's record producer, played brilliantly by Christopher Walken. Both Wayne and Garth realize right away that they are far over their heads with Mr. Cool Walken. He seems to get it and they really don't. Wayne and Garth both end up outside looking in on their own movie. So why just they choose to tell this story?
Perhaps it is simple as writer/star Mike Myers going through the same emotional issues in his own life. He was leaving Saturday Night Live to attempt a career in the movies and he knew he needed to grow up. At SNL he was getting paid for playing goofing characters and was a part of a gigantic machine that would of been successful whether he was around or not. In Hollywood, he is on his own and whether he works or not is as simple as whether the audiences will respond to him. They loved his Wayne persona so making this sequel was an obvious choice. But he knew (or at least thought) that he couldn't make another silly comedy with Wayne doing the same things. He thought if he could grow Wayne, then the audience would grow with him. He was wrong.
Of course Myers did eventually find his franchise in the Austin Powers movies. And if you study those films you'll see that he doesn't make the same mistake twice. In fact, he goes backwards as his Powers persona get more silly as the sequels go.
Another interesting element in Wayne's World 2 is that the comedy is very Family Guy-ish. It references tons of famous people and movies that probably 90% of the young audience at the time had no idea what the real joke was. It works in Family Guy because the show is only 22 minutes, but for a 90 minute movie this is a good way to alienate the audience because they know they are supposed to laugh but have no idea what they are supposed to laugh about.
There isn't an easier way to piss off an audience when doing comedy than by telling jokes that are smarter than them.
The ending of Wayne's World 2 parodies The Graduate (1967) ending while throwing in Charleton Heston in the mix. I remember sitting in the theater laughing my arse off and looking around seeing no one laughing with me. The only reason I knew of this parody is because I was watching old movies at the time as I knew this was the industry I was heading into. But no other 16 year old kid (who was it's main audience) would of known what this scene was about.
They also parodied: The Village People, Field of Dreams, Jim Morrison, The Dick Van Dyke show, 70s Kung Fu movies and many more older pop-culture references that at the time of the movie, many of the audience had no idea what they were talking about.
Wayne's World 2 definitely worked for me and it definitely didn't work for most other people. Watching it again 16 years later tells me too that this is a very good comedy movie. But even today, the last thing the audience wants to see is a slacker movie where the slacker wants to learn to not be a slacker anymore.
Waynes World 2