(Second viewing, On TV, December 2016) Recognizably cut from the same cloth as the first Wayne’s World, this sequel treads more or less the same style of silly comedy, although it’s really not quite as fresh or good as the original. As the plot devolves into jealousy and music festival mechanics, while avoiding some of the most amusing fourth-wall-breaking of the original, the result isn’t as memorable as its predecessors. (While I was able to quote from the original for years, I remembered maybe two jokes from the sequel.) Mike Myers, Dana Carvey and Tia Carrere return from the original and are in fine form—even though much of Kim Basinger’s subplot feels far too long and is only redeemed by its last joke. Good bits include Charlton Heston being shoved in the film as a better actor, but too often, the film falls in love with its own jokes and runs them into the ground long after they’ve stopped being amusing. Wayne’s World 2 is an adequate follow-up to the first film, but not essential. It hasn’t aged as well, and clearly anticipates issues that would dog later Mike Myers films.
(Second or third viewing, On Cable TV, June 2016) Wayne’s World hit pop culture the summer before my senior high-school year. You can imagine the carnage, and my visible twitching at how “… NOT,” “Sha-wing!” “Baberham Lincoln” and other catchphrases are still embedded deeply in my brain. Not that it’s all bad: I credit Wayne’s World for making “Bohemian Rhapsody” one of my top-ten all-time favourite songs. Still, I hadn’t seen the film in over twenty years, and watching it was as pure a nostalgia experience as I can remember. Even today, I could quote verbatim from some moments, happily banged my head along at the appropriate time and was looking forward to the pronunciation of “mill-e-wah-que”. Still, I had forgotten enough of the film to make it interesting. I didn’t remember so much meta-humour commentary, and it still works most excellently. (Interestingly, though, I’ve been conflating two quotes as “I’m giving you a no-spew guarantee” for the past twenty-some years.) Mike Myers and Dana Carver are very good as the protagonists, while Tia Carrere looks spectacular in her debut role. The meta-humour is playful enough to stay enjoyable today, even despite a few rough edges. (My new nightmare is seeing Wayne’s World remade as a reality-TV mockumentary.) For a film that I may have been tempted to dismiss as a mere source of high-school silliness, Wayne’s World is still remarkably funny today.