(Welcome to The Daily Stream, an ongoing series in which the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching, why it’s worth checking out, and where you can stream it.)
The Movie: Wayne’s World 2
Where You Can Stream It: Netflix
The Pitch: After Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) has a dream in which Jim Morrison tells him to put on a rock concert, he and fellow late-night TV star Garth Algar (Dana Carvey) try to make it happen. Several musical acts show little interest, leaving the pair uncertain about their ability to put on a successful show. Meanwhile, Cassandra (Tia Carrere), Wayne’s rockstar girlfriend, has a new manager (Christopher Walken) who is trying to steal her away, and Wayne’s antics only make things worse. But Garth has a love interest and finally got pubes, so maybe it’s not all bad.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: The movies inspired by Saturday Night Live sketches can be hit or miss. Actually, sometimes they can miss but still be stupidly hilarious. Thankfully, in the case of Wayne’s World 2, what we have is not only a hit by the standards of SNL movies, but it’s also one of the best comedy sequels ever made, the rare follow-up that actually matches wits and potentially rivals the original.
The first Wayne’s World was kind of a miracle. As the second SNL film to follow the wildly successful and beloved The Blues Brothers, it had a lot to live up to.After all, how do you take a late night talk show broadcast from a parents’ basement of two young rock fans in the Midwest who are basically a punk version of David Letterman and make it work for a feature length runtime? You lean into their subversive nature and create a movie that doesn’t fit the mold of most comedies, delivering a hybrid of romance, parody, and general silliness. So what do you do with the sequel? You do it all over again.
Wayne’s World 2 isn’t exactly a major departure from its predecessor. Sure, it evolves the characters so they’ve moved out of their parents’ houses and into their own apartment. It also gives them a big new endeavor instead of focusing on the show where the characters originated. But where Wayne’s World 2 works best is being completely aware of the tropes of sequels (especially in the comedy genre) and treading the same territory with a slightly evolved meta sense of humor. And it works like a well-oiled joke machine, even if it’s not quite as loyal to its suburban Illinois roots as the original.
It also helps that Wayne’s World 2 brings Chris Farley back in a completely different and more substantial role than he had in the first movie. Plus, beloved, recurring SNL host Christopher Walken steps up to be the bad guy this time, making for a more formidable than smarmy foe than Rob Lowe. There’s also a great part for Ralph Brown (that’s Ric Olie from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace for those keeping track) as famed British roadie Del Preston But the scene stealer is obviously Kim Basinger as Ms. Honey Horneé, sparking a steamy and goofy love affair with Garth.
Wayne’s World 2 was also a miracle in itself since the idea came after Paramount Pictures forced Mike Myers to completely rewrite his script (you can read more about that over here). But even beyond that, it’s a prime example of how to do a comedy sequel right.
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