Nicolas Cage is a bit of an odd one isn’t he?
I don’t have much experience of his more recent films. In fact I’ve only recently seen both National Treasures! Enjoyable capers that gave Cage some chances to be charming and generally good fun. What I haven’t seen is any of his more recent output. But with it’s crazy premise and short runtime, Willy’s Wonderland felt like a worthwhile punt. So what could go wrong?
A fair bit it turns out. Here’s the summary –
“When his car breaks down, a quiet loner agrees to clean an abandoned family fun center in exchange for repairs. He soon finds himself waging war against possessed animatronic mascots while trapped inside Willy’s Wonderland.”
Completely pointless side thread containing a group of
kids fodder, barely anything happens! Bar some grunts, Cage’s character doesn’t even speak! An easy pay check for sure; Cage also produces, having noticed the script online. The cynic in me wonders if he just wanted an easy time and a chance to punch some characters repeatedly in the head. “War” is a definite stretch for a start.
Many horror films deal in the ordinary and how it can be twisted. WW doesn’t understand that trope, with possibly its biggest issue being the designs of the animatronic creatures. At no point do they look like anything you’d see in a anywhere near kids. There’s no foreplay to the horror they’re going to bring, which completely undermines them.
To conclude, I thought I’d provide an alternate summary –
“Nicolas Cage is two things. He’s likely the only reason Willy’s Wonderland got made, and he’s the only reason you’ll watch it. So perhaps he’s done the trick. But this film is not scary, and it’s not really that gory. It’s a short story at best, and no amount of creepy-ass animatronic is going to make it good.”