Wayne's World (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

Wayne's World (1992)



Critic Consensus: An oddball comedy that revels in its silliness and memorable catch phrases, Wayne's World is also fondly regarded because of its endearing characters.

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Movie Info

Originally a skit on "Saturday Night Live" during the late '80s and early '90s, "Wayne's World" is about two teenage dudes who host a public access TV show, which is mainly about rock, babes and people who live in the area. One day Wayne and Garth go to a rock concert, and Wayne falls in love with a bass guitarist named Cassandra Wong. Wayne spends the rest of the movie trying to get Casandra to fall in love with him. He also struggles with a network executive who wants to buy the rights to his show.

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Mike Myers
as Wayne Campbell
Dana Carvey
as Garth Algar
Rob Lowe
as Benjamin Oliver
Tia Carrere
as Cassandra
Brian Doyle-Murray
as Noah Vanderhoff
Kurt Fuller
as Russell
Colleen Camp
as Mrs. Vanderhoff
Donna Dixon
as Dreamwoman
Ione Skye
as Elyse
Frederick Coffin
as Officer Koharski
Chris Farley
as Security Guard
Charles Noland
as Ron Paxton
Frank DiLeo
as Frankie Sharp--Mr. Big
Eric Crabb
as Guitar Store Clerk
Mark St. James
as Fellow Drummer
Harris Shore
as Detective
Peder Melhuse
as Detective
Don Amendolia
as Announcer
Carmen Filpi
as Old Man Withers
Anna Schoeller
as Girl Driver
Robin Ruzan
as Waitress
Alice Cooper
as Alice Cooper
Stan Mikita
as Stan Mikita
Ed O'Neill
as Mikita's Manager
George Foster
as Crucial Taunt Band Member
Anthony Focx
as Crucial Taunt Band Member
Marc Ferrari
as Crucial Taunt Band Member
Marco Ferrari
as Guitarist - Crucial Taunt Band Member
Stef Burns
as Alice Cooper's Band Member
Pete Freezin'
as Alice Cooper's Band Member
Greg Smith
as Alice Cooper's Band Member
Derek Sherinian
as Alice Cooper's Band Member
Jimmy DeGrassio
as Alice Cooper's Band Member
Jimmy de Grassio
as Drummer - Alice Cooper's Band Member
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Critic Reviews for Wayne's World

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (9)

Whoever catered this set must have served extra good donuts and stuff because the acting is real good and we're not just talking about Lowe's deep-smoothie performance.

February 14, 2017 | Full Review…

Hollywood surely accepts the movie's message: laughter is the least expensive therapy. And audiences may happily parrot another Wayneism to Myers: 'He shoots! He scores!'

May 6, 2008 | Full Review…

The movie has a pleasing daftness.

May 6, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Director Penelope Spheeris, with her first major studio assignment (and eight-figure budget), delivers a colorful but uneventful picture.

May 6, 2008 | Full Review…

Very silly but enjoyable.

May 6, 2008 | Full Review…

Much of the credit for the film's success lies with Spheeris, whose confident if rough-edged direction keeps it on track and cooking.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Wayne's World

I've spoken at great length in my reviews about the questionable cinematic legacy of Saturday Night Live. The show which in its prime provided a springboard for John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd has all too often resulted in poor, one-joke affairs which have no place being on the big screen. As I stated in my review of Tammy, the number of actors (both male and female) who have successfully made the transition to a solid film career post-SNL is disappointingly small. To some extent, we could hold Wayne's World responsible for this state of affairs. Its success at the box office opened the floodgates for the likes of Coneheads, It's Pat and Stuart Saves His Family to clutter up multiplexes on both sides of the pond at the expense of smarter, better comedies. But while those travesties are now largely forgotten in the minds of the movie-going public, Wayne's World has endured even as the careers of its main stars have waned. The reason for this is both simple and hard to explain - but rest assured, it's still pretty funny. It's easy to think that Wayne's World has been embraced purely because it is so gleefully and unapologetically goofy. It makes no apologies for its rough edges, modest character development or the performances of its leading men, and that confidence is naturally endearing. But for all the cult appeal of individual lines or sequences (head-banging to Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is now almost automatic), there is still more to it than that. What separates Wayne's World from the likes of Coneheads and others from the SNL stable is not simply a feeling of confidence about its style. It also has a lack of arrogance about it - which is pretty impressive if you believe all the stories about Mike Myers' diva-ish demands behind the scenes. While other SNL vehicles bumble around with their head in the clouds, feeling as sure as the sun will rise that an audience will find the same joke funny for more than five minutes, Wayne's World is altogether more modest and far less obnoxious. It puts in the hard yards without feeling the need to shout about it, and it accepts its small, self-contained identity rather than striving to be something that it's not. At its most basic, the story of Wayne's World is neither especially complex nor overly original. It's the tried-and-tested story about young artists who are faced with the choice between getting rich and selling out or staying true to their art but living in poverty. It treads the line between right-on satire of the music business and just depicting the status quo, helped in no small amount by the casting of Brat Pack alumnus Rob Lowe as the good-looking, early-1990s descendant of Swan from Phantom of the Paradise, or Max Renn from Videodrome. The natural point of comparison with Wayne's World is This Is Spinal Tap, particularly given director Penelope Spheeris' background in music documentaries. There are, naturally, a number of differences, most of which only serve to provide evidence (if it were needed) of Reiner's brilliance. Wayne's World is not as intimate a work as 'Tap'; while Reiner's film was borne out of free-flowing improvisation, this has more of a conscious artifice, feeling less like a documentary than a high-concept film with a low-budget aesthetic. Equally, Reiner's film had a very clear and committed vision, while there is evidence on-screen of the clashes between director and stars off-screen. Wayne's World isn't crippled by this, but it prevents it from being a great film as opposed to merely a very good one. Spheeris' background in music history, particularly her work on the history of punk rock and heavy metal, would lead us to assume that she would want to use the characters in this film as a vehicle to satirise the music business. Even without attempting ether a full-blown savaging like its contemporary The Player, or something as fantastical as Brian De Palma's efforts, there is plenty of scope for using the characters in this manner. But at every turn she is confronted by Myers and his co-writers Bonnie and Terry Turner, who just want to set up a situation and throw the most gags at the screen. It's a bit like imagining Slade in Flame intercut with bits of Austin Powers; it's a memorable contrast, and it kind of works, but only up to a point. This conflict is most clearly demonstrated in the famous jokes about product placement. When the joke is done the first couple of times, it's a neat, clever gag, poking fun at the double standards present in show business and breaking the fourth wall by also targeting the film industry. But the more times the gag is repeated, the more we start to question the intentions behind it, and on repeat viewing it all feels rather lame. The same goes for the multiple endings; it works the first time, but things rapidly become tiresome and we begin to lose patience. Fortunately, like the best work of the Zucker brothers, there is enough good comedy in Wayne's World to largely justify its running time - and unlike a lot of modern comedies, it isn't overly long. It adopts a similarly scattershot approach to Airplane! or the work of Mel Brooks, throwing as many jokes at us as it can, so that if one or two fall flat, we don't have time to dwell on them. Muost of the humour is low-brow, not to say rather stupid, but it's an honest stupidity borne out of sympathy with humble-minded characters rather than contempt for our intelligence. One of the very best sequences in the film is the section featuring Alice Cooper, which finds a harmonious middle ground between Myers' shtick and Spheeris' more high-minded ambitions. Cooper is really enjoying the part without milking it or drawing attention to his presence in the way that so many American comedians would; he gets the premise of the scene and he serves the material really well. This scene also finds Myers and co-star Dana Carvey at their most endearing; they're still goofing around, but you also get the impression of them taking things seriously and giving Cooper the respect that he deserves. As far as its visual sensibility goes, Wayne's World is very much a product of its time. Spheeris' lo-fi approach is complimented by her cinematographer Theo van de Sande, who would later lens Blade and Cruel Intentions, and the film's editing keeps things rolling along as a sensible pace. It's hard to argue that the fashions have aged well, or that some of its camera positions would be de riggeur today, but the visual decisions still serve the comedy well, and that's what matters. Wayne's World remains a funny if ramshackle comedy which overcomes its internal struggles to hold our attention for the majority of its running time. Like a lot of comedies, its structural shortcomings can ultimately be excused by the consistency (or at least sheer quantity) of its gags, and for all the little niggles with the script both Myers and Carvey remain endearing screen presences. For all the misfires in Myers' subsequent careers (including the sequel), he can still take a lot of pride in this.

Daniel Mumby
Daniel Mumby

Super Reviewer

Moronically hilarious and clever for this oddball comedy. Wayne's World is highlighted by the constant humor from Myers & Carvey, making it one of the most successful SNL-sketch-based-films to date. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

It may be one of the dumbest comedies to ever come out of Hollywood, but these characters are undeniable some of the funniest people every put to screen, especially from a film that was solely based on a sketch show. The jokes hit almost every time throughout this film, due to it's genus writing, ripping on the Hollywood stereotypes and product placement laws. Clearly they had a blast making this film, because the audience has just as much fun as them. I will say that it is a very subjective picture, due to it's appeal. Most people will probably get a kick out of this film, but some will probably bow their heads in shame as to how dumb it is, but at least it is self-aware. I thought "Wayne's World" was great!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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