Sunday, 5 September 2010

Movie Review: Wayne's World (1992)


A movie about exactly nothing nevertheless became a long-lasting cultural phenomenon, and catapulted Mike Myers into the front row of 1990's movie comics.

Based on sketch segments featured on Saturday Night Live, Wayne's World centres on the misadventures of Wayne (Myers) and his buddy Garth (Dana Carvey). In a Chicago suburb, they are the hosts of a late-night local community TV show about...not much beyond their vacuous thoughts on music and babes, broadcasting on a shoestring budget from Wayne's basement.

Network TV executive Benjamin Kane (Rob Lowe) spots Wayne's World while his wife is channel surfing through the dead corpses of late-night TV shows, and sees the potential of connecting with a young hip audience by taking the show onto his network and having it sponsored by a video arcade tycoon. As Wayne and Garth get ready to take their show to a wider audience, both Wayne and Benjamin lust over local rock chick Cassandra Wong (Tia Carrere).

None of the plot matters, of course. Wayne's World is all about Myers and Carvey having fun with their characters and introducing into the cultural lexicon "...Not!", "Excellent!", "Schwing!" "Party On!" and "Babelicious!". Myers plays Wayne as the insanely happy and perpetually smiling everyguy, leaving Carvey to steal the movie as the clearly unhinged and dangerously shy Garth.

Lowe and Carrere hang on for dear life as director Penelope Spheeris allows Myers and Carvey to do everything contrary to normal movie-making etiquette, from talking to the camera to setting off on irreverent tangents, such as Carvey bashing out a terrific drum solo just for the hell of it, and having discussions about Milwaukee's name origins backstage with Alice Cooper.

Wayne, Garth and their buddies singing along and head-banging to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody while crammed into the light blue AMC Pacer is an enduring classic scene in movie-making history. And just to emphasize that all the rules are being broken, the film offers three separate endings, none of them remotely serious.

Wayne's World is, incredibly, both a major cultural landmark, and a whole lot of pure original fun.






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