Wayne’s World (1992)

20 Feb

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Smith’s Verdict: ****

Reviewed by Tanner Smith

Is it possible to give a movie like “Wayne’s World” a four-star rating? In my case, it is. It’s a comedy based on the Saturday Night Live sketch “Wayne’s World” featuring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey. The sketches are funny, but strangely, the movie might actually be funnier. I can watch this movie several times and still be able to laugh and smile at it. That’s a sign of a great comedy. So in that case, I am giving four stars to “Wayne’s World” and am proud of it.

Just consider this a more personal review.

Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey) are two 20something party dudes who have their own cable access show in the basement of Wayne’s parents’ house…where Wayne still lives. On the show they usually talk about babes, guitars, and weird stuff, like the invention of a vacuum cleaner that also cuts people’s hair. The SNL sketch was always a recording of their show; the movie stretches it further than that (it has to, doesn’t it?) to show Wayne and Garth hanging out with their friends and going on a night on the town, seeking local parties.

The plot is admittedly predictable. An ad executive named Benjamin (played with inspired casting by Rob Lowe) and his producer, Russell (Kurt Fuller, very funny in a deadpan way), want to use their show to sell it to a client (Brian Doyle-Murray) who owns a video arcade chain. Benjamin offers Wayne and Garth a lot of money for doing the show, while having the client sponsor the show and clean it up a little. Things get complicated when Benjamin begins hitting on Wayne’s new girlfriend—an Asian rock singer named Cassandra (Tia Carrere). When it seems like things are going wrong for Wayne and Garth, can they be right again?

“Wayne’s World” is in the same spirit of movies like “Bill and Ted” and “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”—anything can happen just to get a laugh, and I mean anything. We have the guys singing along loudly to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” we have breaking-the-fourth-wall jokes, we have the subtitle “gratuitous sex scene” when it looks like Wayne and Cassandra are about to…you know (the movie is PG-13 so no actual sex is shown on camera), we have the subtitle “Oscar clip” when Wayne makes his version of a sad speech (“I never learned to read!”), and more funny jokes. The funniest bit is a satire on product placement—in one scene, six products are brought in to get their plugs (the sequence begins when Wayne holds up a slice of Pizza Hut pizza, with the logo shown on the pizza box, and says, “Contract or no, I will not bow to any sponsor”) and it’s only that one scene where that happens. It doesn’t happen anywhere else in the entire movie.

Wayne and Garth are both likable and very funny. Mike Myers plays Wayne as a Bill Murray type of smart aleck, with a touch of Woody Allen as he addresses the camera frequently. Dana Carvey plays Garth as a paranoid technogeek whose brain may have been fried by partying too much. This makes him an awkward person to be around, unless you know him very well, like Wayne does. I love the scenes in which they hang out together—they have too much time on their hands and when they’re not partying or doing their show, they play hockey in the neighborhood street (they move the net when a car is coming) and park outside of an air field so that they can sit on the hood of their car and anticipate the noise of the oncoming airplane above. You don’t expect scenes like these in a movie like this. They have a real whimsy to them. I suppose that’s what makes it more intelligent than “Bill and Ted” or “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.”

Even if the plot is predictable, the jokes sure aren’t, and you’ll most likely enjoy “Wayne’s World” for its good nature, likable and funny characters. I love this movie, it’s hilarious, and I have no regrets in giving it four stars.

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