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‘Wayne’s World 2’ (PG-13)

By Joe Brown
Washington Post Staff Writer
December 10, 1993

Like its predecessor, "Wayne's World 2" is a junk food flick. You'll laugh your face off tonight, but in the morning, you'll wonder what that was all about. The sequel to last year's breakaway hit offers more of the same, but it's somehow fresher, funnier and more endearing than the airheaded original. Who knew?

All the Wayne-and-Garth catchphrases are here -- "We're not worthy," "party on," "excellent" and so forth. "Wayne's World" creator, writer and star Mike Myers, who must be as sick of saying "Not!" as we are of hearing it, gets all that old "schwing" shtick out of his system early on, and focuses instead on parodying everything caught in the pop-culture tar pit that passes for Wayne's mind.

Having survived a brush with the Big Time in the first movie, everyone's favorite pair of preternaturally aged post-adolescent Midwestern metalheads haven't budged from Aurora, Ill. They're still doing their idiotic-anarchic cable access TV show, now broadcast from an abandoned doll factory. Wayne's babelicious rocker girlfriend Cassandra (Tia Carrere) is still on the trail of a record contract, pursued by a music biz sleazeball (Christopher Walken, who isn't given nearly enough villainy). Garth (Dana Carvey) finally got pubes.

Wayne is feeling pressured about not doing anything with his life ("I feel like I'm in a John Hughes rite de passage movie," he observes in one of many wry asides to the audience). He's transported in a dream sequence to a desert meeting with Jim Morrison (a goof on "The Doors"), who advises him to plan an outdoor rock festival in Aurora, a "Field of Dreams" folly called, of course, Waynestock.

Under the eye of director Stephen Surjik ("Kids in the Hall"), most of "WW2's" abundantly aimless energy goes into cheerily cheesy sendups of virtually every movie (even "Ishtar"!), TV show, commercial and video ever made, including extended gags about the dubbing and effects in martial arts movies, a mercilessly funny Kenny G gag and a "Mission: Impossible"/Village People sequence that caused a riot of knee-slapping at the preview screening. Though the movie is set in the present, Aurora radio is still stuck circa 1976, but there's no single scene with the sheer teenage joy of the first movie's "Bohemian Rhapsody" sing-along. Like every "Saturday Night Live" skit these days, "WW2" begins to lose energy and focus after a strong start, partying on a bit too long.

For all his gossiped-about ego ("WWI" director Penelope Spheeris reportedly said she wouldn't work with him again), Myers is remarkably generous about sharing screen time -- in fact, his mugging, beaming Wayne seems almost peripheral to the story, what with all the returning characters, megawatt babeage (good sports Kim Basinger, Heather Locklear and Drew Barrymore) and a few truly jaw-dropping surprise cameos.

While the movie (it seems silly to call this a "film," don't you agree?) was still in production, Myers was rumored to have elbowed Dana Carvey's Garth almost out of the picture, but rabbity Garth gets this movie's juiciest bit. Garth's deflowering by laundromat seductress Honey Hornee (Basinger, earning back some of that $8 million) is priceless; when it evolves into a spoof of those older-woman-lures-teen-lover-into-killing-her-husband TV potboilers, it boils over.

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