Willy’s Wonderland Quick View; Grade: D-
Willy's Wonderland tells a story about a lone drifter The Janitor (Nicolas Cage)... This not a typo, that's the given name of our lead character. Anyhow while driving on the road, The Janitor encounters a flat tire. The mechanic will do the repair only in cash, but unfortunately The Janitor doesn't have cash on him, he only has a credit card and there is no sign of an ATM anywhere. To pay off his debt: The Janitor must clean up and fix up an abandoned building, formerly known as Willy's Wonderland. Willy's Wonderland used to be a place where kids could go and have fun featuring arcade games, a ball pit, food, and of course one can not forget the robotic singing animals. The Janitor will not only encounter a challenge in cleaning up the filthy mess left behind, he will also encounter a much bigger challenge... Evil Robotic Animals. Watch as The Janitor beat the living crap out of these robotic animals with ease, as well as an "exciting" sequence" of pinball, and a whole lot of energy drinks.
I'm honestly surprised this wasn't a fathom event, since Nicolas Cage's last couple films featuring him in whacky scenarios were played as a one night Fathom event the last couple years with Mandy and The Color Out of Space, both good films. After watching Willy's Wonderland, I now understand why this film wasn't a Fathom Event or barely had a theatrical release... This film flat out stinks.
Sure watching Nicolas Cage go bananas in these types of roles is extremely fun to watch, as he has proven he can still be a flat out entertaining actor on his own. However the difference between the likes of Mandy and Color Out of Space, to the likes of Willy's Wonderland is unlike Willy's Wonderland... Both of those films actually has something to offer, other than just Nicolas Cage wilding out. Both Mandy and Color Out of Space both have a unique original story to tell that compliments the likes of a full out Nick Cage performance, both have well written characters that you can follow start to finish, both have wonderful color pallet, cinematography, solid scores, and are engaging as well. Willy's Wonderland fails to have any of those things mentioned, it's almost hard to really point out what exactly does Willy's Wonderland actually does well, other than one fun Nick Cage moment and one character that kind of is developed.
Nicolas Cage typically excels in these kind of performances, however it's barely effective due to the fact this character is extremely bland. The Janitor is nothing more than just a mindless killing machine, who cleans, plays pinball, and drinks energy drinks... It's some of the laziest writing I've seen in quite awhile. Like where was The Janitor heading to during his travels?! Why does he have to drink an energy drink after killing a robot? Why is he wasting time playing a Pinball game? Why is he continuing to clean the place, knowing he's just used as a pawn to get himself killed? Why does this character have no concern being in this situation?! How come The Janitor can kill these robotic figures at ease? Why is The Janitor not phased of Robotic Animals coming to life?! Apparently none of that matters, as the film entitles that Nicolas Cage going crazy and killing these robotic animals is all you really need, when in reality you actually have to develop this character to make the audience invested in the first place. It's an extremely dull character and quite honestly... Why should I care about this character, when not only is there nothing there, but since he doesn't seem struggle with this situation, surely I don't have to continue watching because I know exactly how this film is going to end.
Willy's Wonderland as a story alone could be entertaining, if there was actual effort put in other than our lead character being completely blank. The thing is: This film is extremely repetitive. The Janitor encounters a robotic animal, The Janitor kills the robotic animal the exact same way as the past robotic animals, The Janitor drinks an energy drink, The Janitor cleans, The Janitor randomly plays Pinball, and that's it... Done over and over again seven times. So not only is our lead character dull, now we are dealing with an extremely dull structure as well. Where the sequences of The Janitor against these Robotic Animals should be our most entertaining part of this film, turns out to be just as weak as everything else in this entire film. Like at least do something new with each death sequence, that way it can be a little more exciting, but even this film can't even do that right.
I also like to point out: Why do we have to have stupid teenagers and stupid horny teenage characters added in this story?! The only thing I can defend is the teenage woman actually had a moral purpose in returning to this place, due to her traumatic past. However the rest of the characters had no value purpose, other than the robotic animals getting a chance to kill somebody, since The Janitor is unstoppable. I didn't care about a single character in this entire film, maybe the teenage girl because of revenge, but everyone else is either stupid or completely blank.
The fact this film was charging people $20 for rental is completely absurd, like give me one good reason people should be paying $20 for this uninspired lazy piece of shit?! "Oh but we got Nick Cage going crazy haha!"... What a total let down and a total rip off, everyone that rented this needs to be refunded immediately.
Overall, Willy's Wonderland was garbage. I don't recommend watching this film, do not fall for it, it's a total rip off and scam. -Mitch Smietana