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  • Writer's pictureMr. Pat

Willy's Wonderland

31 days, 31 movies! We weathered quite a few storms, one of them literally! But I managed to get them all out on time. So thank you for watching, thank you for reading, thank you for liking and following. I appreciate everyone. Now, this month I've done a lot of serious, a lot of family movies but I haven't done any fun, goofy ones. So I wanted to change that with Nicholas Cage's...

Willy's Wonderland (2021)

Nicholas Cage plays a drifter who runs into some car trouble when he runs over some spikes in the middle of the highway. He's picked up by the town's mechanic who informs him he only takes cash and their ATM is down. Instead he offers him a deal. The owner of an abandoned family entertainment center says he'll pay for the repairs if Cage works as an overnight janitor at Willy's Wonderland for one night. Cage accepts and off they go. Unbeknownst to him, as soon as he steps inside, the owner locks him in and the animatronics are possessed by the souls of Satanic serial killers who were using the restaurant as a front to find victims. It's incredibly silly but it's what I was hoping for.

I had been looking forward to this movie ever since I first heard of it. There was a restaurant near my house called Major Magics that I absolutely loved. It had singing animatronics and was all kinds of wonderful. I spent my 17th, 18th, and 20th birthdays there and spent another later one at Chuck E Cheese. The movie captures the look and feel of those places wonderfully.

It's interesting because you learn absolutely nothing about Nicholas Cage's character. You don't even learn his name, in the credits he's billed as "The Janitor" and he doesn't say a single thing throughout the movie. It's an intriguing move when you have an actor like Nicholas Cage, who plays manic better than anybody, be a mute. But he's wonderful. It works because there's so much you want to know about him but you get absolutely nothing. Like what's the deal with the pop he keeps drinking? Why can't he function without it? Why does nothing faze him? He'll be cleaning and then he'll get attacked and instead of taking stock of what's going on, or react at all to ripping apart an evil animatronic, he goes right back to cleaning.

He's really a fun character and a blast to watch go about his work like nothing is out of the ordinary. The first time he's confronted, he doesn't hesitate for a second that a giant robot is attacking him, he immediately starts violently fighting. Then when the side characters break in to rescue him, he completely blows them off, refusing to leave and save himself. He barely gives them a second glance even after he saves them. It's such a bewildering and awesome character. If I redid my Horror Heroes tournament, he would be a very high seed. The only thing working against him is not enough people know about this movie and it's a shame.

The action scenes are pure Cage madness. It's insane watching him brutally rip apart these machines and get covered in blood, or oil, or whatever it is then casually bag the machines up and get right back to work. I don't want to get into spoiler territory because this movie is definitely worth watching and like Frank Constanza, it's better to go in fresh! There are other characters in this movie, but for the most part they're there to up the body count. They don't add much to the story but it's entertaining seeing the animatronics stalk and butcher them in insane ways.

The weakest part of the thing is the conspiracy with the town and the animatronics. I don't understand why one character is so against Cage winning while two other characters, once they get over their initial shock, are all on board. Also, I don't understand why the townspeople didn't just go into there and shoot all the animatronics or set fire to the building. But I'm much more forgiving to plot silliness in a movie if, A) the whole movie is supposed to be goofy, and B) I'll forgive a lot in a movie if it entertains me and this movie is a whole lot of fun. It's funny, Nicholas Cage rules and it gets better the longer it goes. There's talk of a sequel and I really hope it gets the green light because this movie is pretty awesome.

9 Dr. Chainsaws!

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