In view of the newer films about Nicolas Cage, a look back to the 90s is almost a wistful ordeal. Where the US-American had made a respectable name for himself with appearances in “Face / Off”, “The Rock” or “Wild at Heart” and was considered to be very talented actors, his acting portfolio has been filled with all sorts of special ones in recent years Works that only know how to inspire parts of the audience. True to the motto “Harder, louder and (above all) more colorful”, films like “Mandy” saw the light of day, and there was more acrobatics on Cage’s face than at the Krone Circus. Another plant is now in the starting blocks that seems to fit in seamlessly.
If you think of a happy sequel to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” when you hear the title “Willy’s Wonderland”, you’re wrong. Rather, the viewer expects another, most likely blood-heavy excursion into bizarre realms. In terms of the story, the film accompanies an unsuccessful drifter (played by Nicolas Cage) in his new job. That sounds simple at first, because the caretaker is only supposed to act as a night watchman in an abandoned indoor amusement park. What he did not yet know at the time of his employment: unruly characters are up to mischief inside the building. There is only one motto: kill or be killed.
Thematically, the genre hybrid announced as a horror / comedy is once again moving along recently trodden paths, leaves little hope for a serious film and, when watching the trailer, is almost reminiscent of an adult version of crazy Pokémon in a parallel universe (or of Five Nights at Freddy’s). After all, the cast, in addition to Mr. Cage himself, can come up with halfway familiar faces. Beth Grant (Donnie Darko, Little Miss Sunshine), Ric Reitz (Flight, Sleepless) and Chris Warner (Sin City, No country for old men) can be seen here.
Originally, the 5.5 million US dollar “Willy’s Wonderland” was supposed to get a worldwide theatrical release in October 2020, but here too Covid-19 intervened and prevented the project. At this point in time, it will be released on the popular streaming platforms on February 12, 2021. With the help of the trailer that follows, everyone can now decide for themselves whether this timely appointment should arouse joy or fear. (cb)
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Pictures: © JD Entertainment