Plot: What’s it about?
Party on Wayne! Party on Garth! Woo hoo! It’s hard to fathom that it’s now been 30 years since Wayne’s World took the world by storm on the big screen. Now, for those that don’t know, the movie was based off a skit on Saturday Night Live and it’s become the standard ever since. In fact, it was probably due to the success of this movie that we have so many other SNL skits hit the big screen. What it really did was cement Mike Myers status as a bona fide movie star. This undoubtedly led him to roles in the Austin Powers movies as well as the Shrek franchise. So I suppose you could say that Wayne’s World was a pretty important movie. As with most films based on a five minute skit, the plot wasn’t exactly hard to follow and the basic premise behind Wayne’s World is that the two leads have no ambitions in life aside from rock and roll all day and night. Naturally the soundtrack was a big hit as well and it even launched a resurgence in the rock band Queen, who’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is prominently featured in the film. Before I date myself too much more and assume that everyone knows who and what Wayne’s World is, here’s a synopsis for those that don’t.
Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) run a show out of their basement, aptly-titled “Wayne’s World”. The two aren’t that intelligent and spend most of their time dishing on non-existent gossip and generally making asses of themselves. Think of it as the YouTube of the early 90’s except without the internet. The show catches the eye of Ben Oliver (Rob Lowe) who makes them an offer they can’t refuse and all of the sudden Wayne and Garth are thrust into the limelight with their newfound success and stardom. Wayne becomes romantically involved with Cassandra (Tia Carrere), the leader of a rock band. As Wayne and Garth start to discover that their show being big time isn’t all its cracked up to be, they long for their days when no one knew them. Will Wayne end up with Cassandra? Will Ben relinquish the show back to Wayne and Garth or will they lose their show and their individuality as well?
Wayne’s World gave us a few unforgettable phrases (that could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it) such as “…NOT” and “Schwing!”, both of which are still in our vernacular. The movie was such a success that it inspired a less-successful sequel the next year. There was talk of a third, but it never came to fruition. The movie was somewhat of a template for some of the mindless teen comedies that made their way to the big screen back in the 90’s and certainly it paved the way for other SNL skits into feature-length films. Off the top of my head we’ve had A Night at the Roxbury, The Ladies Man, Stuart Saves His Family, Superstar and The Coneheads. Lest we forget the original SNL sketch to go to screen was The Blues Brothers which will probably never be topped.
Video: How does it look?
Any fan of this movie knows the amount of times it’s been released on various formats. The most recent version was a Steelbook that, you guessed it, offered us very little other than the same movie in some new packaging. Well, that’s changed with this version as it’s the first time we’ve had the film in 4K. And what a lovely improvement it is. I’ve remarked in previous reviews saying that “…it really doesn’t look that bad.” After I broke out my Blu-ray (which is NOT included in this set, this is a one disc set) and did a few comparisons, it’s clear (pardon the pun) to see some of the differences. We get more detail in the interior shots, nighttime scenes look a bit more solid and stable thanks to HDR and colors seem more balanced as well. There are editions that are put out just to sell the same thing twice and there are versions, like this, that offer a noticeable upgrade in technical quality that actually make the purchase worth it.
Audio: How does it sound?
We also get an upgrade with the audio. A new Dolby Atmos mix has been added to this movie and it’s a welcome addition. As anyone whose seen the film knows, Wayne’s World is full of music and fairly good music at that (we’ll leave “Ballroom Blitz” out of it though). Dialogue is normal and the surrounds are surprisingly robust which creates a really great atmosphere. One of the highlights of the film has got to be the “Bohemian Rhapsody” song and it’s truly never sounded better. A great effort here and certainly a step up over the older 5.1 mix.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Audio Commentary – Director Penelope Spheeris tells about the struggle of bringing a skit to screen, the problems with the music and some minor details about the shoot.
- Extreme Close-Up: Cast and Crew Interviews – Essentially a very clever way of incorporating some cast and crew interviews.
The Bottom Line
There’s no denying that Wayne’s World is a modern classic and for some of us a trip down memory lane to a simpler time. Three decades later, I still chuckled at some of the same scenes I’ve witnessed for years. With this 4K version, the audio and video have both been upgraded and it’s, by far, the best the movie has ever looked or sounded. If you’re looking for the definitive version, technically-speaking, this is the one to grab. Party on!