starring Nicolas Cage, Emily Tosta, Ric Reitz, Beth Grant
written by G.O. Parsons
directed by Kevin Lewis
by Walter Chaw Kevin Lewis's high-concept Nicolas Cage-vs.-Chuck E. Cheese thriller Willy's Wonderland misses because it believes it can't miss. Star Cage has built a career for himself as that weirdo who will do stupid movies, and here he is playing The Janitor, a man of no words who cleans things up. A real contempt for the audience roils off this garbage, the belief that there need be no real effort expended in the creation of this product as long as there's enough Nic Cage doing dumb shit as bizarrely as possible. It's lazy. There's one long exposition dump towards the beginning of it, delivered by a somehow and sorely overmatched Emily Tosta, about Satanic rituals and stuff at the local theme restaurant, and honestly, it was all done better in that video game "Five Nights at Freddy's", where the reason for the robot characters springing to homicidal life isn't really addressed at all. It's painfully bad, Willy's Wonderland, in exactly the way things are bad when a bunch of bros get together to capitalize on a phenomenon they can't begin to understand and couldn't be bothered to interrogate. Cage + animatronic monsters? As William Hurt once asked, "How do you fuck that up?"