‘Willy’s Wonderland’ comes from Kevin Lewis, a seasoned director known for smaller projects but has been involved in Hollywood for the past decade. This stars Nicolas Cage as a silent, soda addicted man who after his car breaks down, is taken in by a mechanic with a strange proposal to repair his vehicle. Come to Willy’s Wonderland, a Chuck-E Cheese knockoff that is trashed, closed down, and needs to be cleaned and repaired. If Nicolas Cage can spend the night cleaning up the building, he can have his car repaired and sent on his way. What he doesn’t know, is the building is cursed by killer animatronic robots that are on the hunt for him, and now he has to not only clean up the place, but survive the night of terror in this messy but conceptually fun film.
On paper this film feels like it’s exactly the type of weird for me, and the idea is amazing. Nic Cage has 0 dialogue in the whole film, giving him a ‘Mad Max’ vibe and the concept of him just destroying a bunch of animatronic creatures sounds too good to mess up. That’s why I am surprised to say that director Kevin Lewis completely missed the mark with this. The action shots are choppy and completely dizzying to watch. The actors (excluding Cage) are all wooden, and even though Cage doesn’t speak is still acting more believably than any of them.
‘Willy’s Wonderland’ often regresses to a boring teen slasher film when it should be focused on well shot fighting scenes and an unhinged Cage. I’m floored with how forgettable the movie ended up being to me when it had so much potential to be one of the most fun times watching a movie in 2021. If you want to see this, please wait until the film ‘Prisoners of the Ghostland’ shows up on streaming. I will always appreciate a Nicolas Cage performance but even he could not save the movie from feeling like a low budget student film.