"Willy's Wonderland", or, Where is Quentin Tarantino when you need him?

The pandemic has taken a toll on our entertainment, and I’ve lowered my standards in the interest of finding something, ANYTHING, to pass the time. Tonight’s COVID cinematic clunker was, “Willy’s Wonderland”, the latest in a long line of low-budget Nicholas Cage movies. It’s based on the video game, “Five Nights at Freddie’s”, in which the evil animatronic critters at a Chuck-E.-Cheese’s-like arcade-restaurant come alive at night. I was looking forward to this one, as his 2019 movie, “Kill Chain”, which I saw recently, was halfway decent and I’d hoped he was on the upswing. Also, creepy animatronic critters vs Nick Cage was a concept that captivated, much like, “Snakes on a Plane.” Unfortunately, also like, “Snakes on a Plane”, the concept was the most interesting part.

There’s no need to discuss the movie. You know the basic plot, and it’s a low-budget Nick Cage movie, so you know Nick runs afoul of Willy and his friends, and Nick kicks ass. The real purpose of this thread is my wondering when he’s gonna pull out of this tailspin. Dude was nominated for an Academy Award twice, and won once. Nick has an OSCAR. Not since Cuba Gooding Jr have I seen such a fall, and let’s be honest: Nick has a far better resume.

I know he was, and presumably still is, in deep debt, but does that mean he’ll never have a decent role in a decent film ever again? Who is going to play Quentin Tarantino to his John Travolta? You’d think someone, somewhere, would have a decent little film in which he could shine. It’s not like he isn’t affordable these days, and given his situation, he might work even cheaper for a chance to act in a decent movie again and raise his stock.

I don’t suppose there’s much discussion potential here. (Probably) None of us can offer him a script, no one can tell Nick to up his standards occasionally, and (probably) no one here can put a bug in the ear of a talented writer/director. Still, we can commiserate on the wasted talent. Sure, he can go full Nick Cage at times (Vampire’s Kiss), but he’s also capable of good-to-great performances, and it would be nice to see something along those lines in one of the half-dozen movies he cranks out every year.

Nick Cage was GREAT in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Maybe the last best performance of his career.

…just to be clear here: while the movie looks to be clearly inspired by Five Nights it is its own thing and has no connection to the game or its creator. They are actually trying to make an official Five Nights movie but…the development isn’t going very well, and by many accounts Willy’s Wonderland may well be the closest thing you get.

Cage has actually done some really good stuff recently. I was considering this movie because he’s been solid in Mom and Dad, Color out of Space and Mandy.

I don’t know, Nic Cage in full scenery-chewing mode can be awfully fun to watch. I kind of want to see this movie now. Is it free on any of the streaming channels, or do you have to rent it?

He’s not in scenery-chewing mode. In the one movie you really want it, he doesn’t say a word the entire movie.

Whaaaaa…?!? Nic Cage in a movie where he doesn’t talk is like Jim Carrey in a movie where his face is covered by a mask the entire time (yes, I know there was the actual movie “The Mask”, but that just served to enhance Carrey’s facial gymnastics, not cover them up)

Sad, but true:

One thing that could go wrong is if you choose the Cage Rage Package that doesn’t come with dialogue included. Yes, one of the major twists of “Willy’s Wonderland” that feels necessary to impart to potential viewers is that the star of “Mandy” and “Color Out of Space,” you know the one known for completely committed line readings of even the most ridiculous material, has not a single line of dialogue in this action/horror flick.

Also, as of now, ‘Willy’s Wonderland’ is available to stream on-demand on the following VOD platforms – Redbox, Google Play, Cox, and FandangoNOW.

It’s not worth it.