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  • Writer's pictureEllis Barthorpe

Willy's Wonderland ★★

Kevin Lewis

Starring Nicolas Cage, Emily Tosta, Beth Grant, Ric Reitz, Chris Warner, Kai Kadlec

Animatronic characters, a group of teenagers, Nic Cage and lots and lots of pinball. What could go wrong?

Well quite a lot. As Nicolas Cage's The Janitor is forced to clean an abandoned theme restaurant overnight, he isn't aware of the killer robots that have lived there since the children's entertainment diner closed. And as a bunch of activist teenagers aim to burn the place to the ground, they plan on saving the mysterious man inside from his inevitable death.

The saving grace here is Nicolas Cage. He is hilariously poignant without uttering a single word and his drink, pinball, kill, repeat way of life gives the film a hint of structure.

But there's not much more to sing about here as the supporting performances are nowhere near as thorough, and therefore nowhere near as strong.

The CGI is clumsy when used and didn't feel completely necessary. Clearly Nic Cage stole a fair chunk of the budget and it meant any practical or computer generated effects showed it.

I will commend the film for its' ballsiness. It wasn't afraid of being what it is: a mental comedy-horror featuring Nic Cage cleaning and killing stuff. But with the concept too strange and conclusions too thin, Willy and his wonderland friends will only leave you dreaming up nightmares. And they would've got away with it too...if it wasn't for that meddling Nic.

Willy's Wonderland available now on PVOD

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