Cast: Mike Meyers, Dana Carvey, Rob Lowe, Tia Carrere, Lara Flynn-Boyle, Brian Doyle-Murray, Chris Farley, Ed O'Neill, Ione Skye, Alice Cooper, Robert Patrick
Director: Penelope Spheeris
Release Date: June 6, 2009, 9:55 pm
Rating: PG-13 for sex-related dialogue
Run Time: 01h:34m:00s
"Some I wish I could boldly go where no man has gone before. But I'll probably stay in Aurora." - Garth (Dana Carvey)
Movie Grade: B+
DVD Grade: B
Ah, Wayne's World. They don't make them like this anymore. And by that I mean that Saturday Night Live hasn't managed to produce a sketch popular enough to spin off into a feature film in about a decade (though the Andy Samberg vehicle Hot Rod almost counts, we could also consider that one "YouTube: The Movie"). That said, Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey's sketches about Wayne and Garth, a pair of heavy-metal slackers who broadcast a cable access show from Wayne's mom's basement, hardly seems like enough to base a movie on. And really, it's notˇit's got the same sort of idiot plot as most of the SNL films. Thankfully, Meyers (who co-wrote) is completely aware of that fact, allowing Wayne and Garth to address the camera whenever a clearly contrived plot point pops up.
And there are many. Wayne and Garth are perfectly happy living lives of leisure in Aurora, IL, enjoying the small cult following their TV show has attracted. The world is threatened when a corporate ad man Benjamin Kane (Rob Lowe) gets the idea that Wayne's World would be the perfect vehicle to plug his largest account, a chain of video arcades (this really is a period piece), and suckers the guys into signing away their creative freedom. Meanwhile, Wayne lusts after babe-alicious up-and-coming rocker Cassandra (Tia Carrere), providing Benjamin with just the tool he needs to manipulate Wayne into becoming a sellout.
The plot is so not the point of this movie, though. Director Penelope Spheeris (previously known for her punk rockumentary The Decline of Western Civilization) has an off-the-cuff style that suits the talk-to-the-camera humor quite well, and the dull villain and dull romance don't seem quite as dull with the leads providing wry self-aware commentary (love Wayne's speech about never bowing to corporations, delivered as he enjoys Pizza Hut, a Coke, and a couple of Nuprin). Dana Carvey is almost impossible to dislike as the meek, naďve Garth, and even if the bevy of quotable quotes (from "schwing!" to "No way!/Way!") aren't exactly fresh these days, and Meyers mugging for the camera isn't quite as loveable in the wake of late-career disasters like The Love Guru, it's still funny. And that famous head-banging to Queen routine is forever.
The DVD: It's hard to believe Wayne's World is nearly 20 years old. It's a fact I'll choose to ignore, if only because the image quality of this Blu-ray re-release makes it so easy. It's a noticeable step up from the previous DVD, with brighter, more solid colors, crisper details, and much more depth, particularly in darker scenes. I admit this isn't the kind of movie that screams out for HD, but it's certainly nice looking anyway. Nice sounding, too. The front-heavy comedy mix is opened up with a strong presentation of music in the surround channels during club scenes and dream sequences.
No extra bonuses for the Blu-ray crowd, thoughˇjust a straight port of the commentary and interviews from the previous DVD. Come to think of it, there's actually less to enjoyˇthe Blu-ray eliminates the quirky TV Guide channel menus from the DVD in favor of boring static images.
Joel Cunningham June 6, 2009, 9:55 pm