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  Wayne's World 2 Show And Tell
Year: 1993
Director: Stephen Surjik
Stars: Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Tia Carrere, Christopher Walken, Kim Basinger, Ralph Brown, Chris Farley, James Hong, Rip Taylor, Lee Tergesen, Dan Bell, Larry Sellers, Heather Locklear, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Pollak, Olivia D'Abo, Harry Shearer, Charlton Heston
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: It’s time we caught up with Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and his best friend Garth Elgar (Dana Carvey) who are still hosting their cable TV show where they shoot the breeze and discuss their favourite music: rock music. They are pleased to announce to the viewing hundreds that they have tickets to see Aerosmith tonight, but before they reach there, Wayne has a time to tell us of how he is still with his singer girlfriend Cassandra (Tia Carrere), but a little cloud moves over the sunshine of their relationship once at the concert, for while they have backstage passes, these can only take them so far. To make matters worse, our hero is beginning to feel the first pangs of jealousy as manager Bobby Cahn (Christopher Walken) muscles in on his act...

The first Wayne's World was a massive success, rare enough in the sphere of films based on Saturday Night Live sketches, so naturally a sequel was hastily ordered. The situation did not sound promising, as original director Penelope Spheeris decided not to rejoin the project after "creative differences" with Myers, and the script was rushed into production to meet a far too ambitious release date, and besides, this was a comedy follow-up and how many of those were much good in the nineteen-nineties? That certainly appeared to be the opinion of moviegoers as it proved not enough of a draw to bring in the same blockbusting returns as the first film had, and was quietly forgotten about as even more of a nineties relic than its predecessor.

However, wait just a minute, as many were wont to point out at the time, Wayne's World 2 was not as funny as the first instalment - it was funnier. Where the original coasted on goodnatured charm and about a million catchphrases, which to its credit was enough to generate a hit, this second outing worked considerably harder to better it as far as the humour went, and for the most part succeeded. There remained that sketch show feel to the proceedings, with the replacement director being Stephen Surjik who had cut his teeth on Kids in the Hall episodes and would go on to be a prolific helmer of series television, but there was no sense in getting pretentious about it, this was here to make the audience laugh, and that's what it did.

This made Part 2 the connoisseur's SNL movie, albeit because so many under that banner had been laugh-free enterprises, especially in this decade when producer Lorne Michaels became obsessed with translating his small screen success to the big screen no matter how ill-suited they were, as evinced by their meagre profits. What was worth appreciating here was that Myers may have been writing his screenplay in a hurry, but he knew by this time what was going to be funny for his characters, and giving Garth his own subplot about being seduced by an attractive older lady played by Kim Basinger paid dividends (especially to Basinger, who was financially embarrassed by her Boxing Helena court case) - this with Carvey looking old enough to be her father, despite the trademark blonde wig he donned.

But the main narrative, as much as it could be, was seeing Wayne putting on a festival concert called, you guessed it, Waynestock to win back Cassandra from Cahn's Machiavellian machinations. He does this after a series of visions a la Oliver Stone's The Doors where Wayne meets his spirit guide, a naked Indian (a game Larry Sellers), and is introduced to Jim Morrison's ghost in the desert who serves up such reassurances as "if you book them, they will come" - the pop culture references came thick and fast here, rest assured. Trouble is, none of the bands he bluffed his way through a conversation with Cahn about the occasion have turned up on the big day, and Cassandra has made the snap decision to get married to his much richer rival. But the plot hardly mattered when you got to see Myers and James Hong in a poorly dubbed kung fu battle, Ralph Brown as a mono-anecdoted roadie of legend, or Wayne and his pals end up posing as The Village People in a gay club simply because it was silly enough to be funny. The good nature was still present, but the jokes were far more inspired, hence its fond place in the hearts of discerning nineties kids. Music by Carter Burwell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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