Have you ever watched Nicolas Cage on-screen and just wished he’d shut his face? Congratulations folks, dreams do come true.
In Willy’s Wonderland, an absolutely bonkers horror-comedy, Cage manages to emote and kick ass through the entire 90-minute runtime without uttering a single syllable. It’s a committed performance, and proves the Oscar winner still has miles in him.
He stars as a drifter who seeks help after his car tires pop on a quiet country road. With no cash to get the work done on his sports car, he agrees to work as a janitor overnight in since-closed children’s playplace Willy’s Wonderland.
What he doesn’t know is the animatronic robots contain the souls of murderous former employees, and the night turns into a life-or-death fight. The debut script from G.O. Parsons only makes about 65 per cent logical sense, but he knows Exactly the type of movie he’s making, and reflects the tone needed to make this thing work.
Director Kevin Lewis finds a certain morbid glee in the hacking and slashing this gory film presents, while finding time for levity and comedy that only someone like his star could provide. Nicolas Cage is the only man who could make a role like this sing, and he’s fantastic.
There’s no doubting this is a silly, sometimes infuriating film that makes little logical sense. Other than Cage, it’s mostly badly acted, but by a certain point, you don’t care.
Post-pandemic, I can almost guarantee Willy’s Wonderland will become great midnight-movie cult cinema, and for good reason. If Cage ripping apart robots trying to kill him sounds fun to you, you’ll like it. It’s a limited demographic, but those who love it will really stand by it.