FILM / From Wayne's World to the olde worlde: Wayne's World 2 (PG); Les Visiteurs (15); Bodies, Rest and Motion (15); The Blue Kite (nc); The Conformist (18)

WAYNE AND Garth, cinema's best-known teenage layabouts, are back and, what's more, they've grown up. This isn't just a matter of having hair 'in really weird places', either: Wayne (Mike Myers) has decided to do something with his life. Inspired by a dream in which he meets Jim Morrison on a sand dune, he decides there is no finer way to mark his entry into adulthood than by staging a huge outdoor rock concert. Its name? Waynestock, of course. Can this new- found role of impresario save his flagging relationship with girlfriend Cassandra (Tia Carrere), now wooed by a scheming LA producer (Christopher Walken)? Garth (Dana Carvey), despite the blond fright-wig, Joe 90 specs and nervous muskrat leer, is being romanced, too, though it is unlikely that Honey Hornee (Kim Basinger) wants him for his savvy on the sofa. 'Take me, Garth,' she pleads huskily. 'Where?' he asks, bemused.

The trials of growing up aside, it will come as no surprise to find that Wayne's World 2 (PG) is not very different from the original. Babes, baseball caps and backstage passes are all present and correct, enlivened by a welter of in-jokes and nifty parodies (including Jurassic Park, The Graduate and a glorious Village People routine). If it's not quite as funny as it thinks it is, that might be because it's much too knowing - an odd word, admittedly, for a film in which Aerosmith are

the main musical attraction. Wayne's World never touches the same peaks of inspired nuttiness as those other teenage dudes of misrule, Bill and Ted. Wayne and Garth somehow ask for the laughs, whereas Bill and Ted just go their own sweet way, truly, madly, dumbly. Party on? I fear a third World would be more than I could stand.

Talking of junk, you are duly warned about a medieval Gallic helping of it in Les Visiteurs (15). This film trails quite a reputation - the greatest box-office success in French movie history, no less - though the funereal stillness that reigned during the press screening suggests it won't be duplicating that triumph here. It's your basic time-travel spoof: a 12th-century knight (Jean Reno) and his servant (Christian Clavier) are magicked via a fouled-up spell to present-day France, where the social order - quel surprise] - has undergone some change since the Middle Ages. The domestic order has also been transformed, leading the bewildered visiteurs into a thumpingly unfunny round of sight gags involving toilet bowls, phones, mail vans, electric lights . . . Comparisons with both Monty Python and Blackadder have been hopefully bandied around, a PR strategy that deserves some kind of prize for wishful thinking. Much has been made of the film's subtle comedy of class distinctions and its medieval language, both of them sadly resistant to translation. My rusty O-level French was pretty hard-pressed to cope with the modern language, let alone the archaic stuff, but I still know une dinde when I see one.

Not many laughs either in Enfield, Arizona, where most of Bodies, Rest and Motion (15) is set; the people round these parts haven't the energy to tell jokes, still less remember the punchlines. We are in Slacker territory, where a listless menage a trois is in full slump. Nick (Tim Roth), TV salesman and chain-smoker, has decided to up sticks and head for a new life in Montana with his girlfriend, Beth (Bridget Fonda). Their best friend Carol (Phoebe Cates) would prefer them to hang around. The audience doesn't much care either way. Enter nouveau-hippie house painter Sid (Eric Stoltz), who gets spoony over Beth while Nick lights out for the great wide open (cue shameless travel-brochure shots of toasted landscapes, blistering sunsets, etc), leaving a stolen TV as a going-away present. The atmosphere of ennui undergoes a brief tremor, a new relationship emerges from the encounter, and very little is resolved. On the plus side, there's some good acting - particularly by Fonda, who has the makings of a Keatonesque comedienne (Diane not Buster). On the debit, Michael Steinberg seems to be directing under heavy sedation, his case helped in no way by dialogue that scrapes the bottom of the cracker-barrel. At times the pace gets so somnolent it could give a whole new slant to the term 'sleeper movie'.

The convulsions of Chinese history in the 20th century have recently been detailed in the extravagant theatricality of Chen Kaige's Farewell My Concubine. Those who thought that film's brushwork a touch too florid may find more to admire in The Blue Kite (nc), a quieter film, and the more powerful for it. Tian Zhuangzhuang's account of life under Mao becomes an intimate panorama, as the life of a single Peking family is whipped and buffeted by the winds of upheaval. The director works his spell through subtle developments of mood and character. Central to his story is Shijuan (Lu Liping) - stoically enduring life with three successive husbands - and her son Tietou, oblivious at first to the political tensions around him but finally compelled to face the music. From the communal kitchens of the Great Leap Forward to the stupefying barbarities of the Cultural Revolution, The Blue Kite traces an arc of suffering with clear-eyed compassion and a directness that moved the Chinese authorities to confiscate the director's exit visa. Plus ca change.

Finally, a new print of an Old Master. The Conformist (18) is an astonishing work, not least because Bertolucci was only 27 when he made it. Set in the 1930s, this portrait of an Italian aristocrat, Clerici (Jean- Louis Trintignant), examines the dreadful bargain a man can make for the illusion of a 'normal life'. Forced to prove his mettle to the Fascists, he turns assassin, only to find himself paralysed by indecision when he needs to act. Trintignant is superb in this unsympathetic role, his angular, weasel-like face and sunken eyes reminiscent of Bogart. But Clerici is no heroic loser. Bertolucci goes some way towards suggesting the root of his protagonist's insecurity - a murderous encounter with a homosexual at the age of 13 - though the film's psychology is less impressive than the bravura confidence of its visual style. The camera roves through the marmoreal desolation of asylums, eerily lit dance-halls and echoing railway stations, finishing memorably on the edge of a snowbound forest, where a double assassination is drawn out to agonising, operatic length. Following this, Bertolucci went notorious (Last Tango in Paris), epic (1900, The Last Emperor) and primitive (The Sheltering Sky), but nothing he has done since this 1970 film has compared in terms of dramatic force or imaginative flair.

Cinema details: Review, page 90. Quentin Curtis returns next week.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Eccleston (centre) plays an ex-policeman in this cliché-riddled thriller

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

TV This TV review contains spoilers
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa performs on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park in Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury

music

Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas

film

Arts and Entertainment

music

Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7

film

Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary

TV

Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige

TV

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions