With Willy's Wonderland, Nicolas "Rusty" Cage becomes the Yuri Gagarin of I don't give a fuckitude. Gagarin may have been the first human in outer space, but Cage is the first person to star in a movie while refusing to say one goddam word of dialogue.
That's right, bitches. Cage has officially broken the IDGAF barrier. He knew the only reason anyone would even consider seeing a movie about a guy fighting possessed animatronic robots in a Chuck E. Cheese knockoff was to watch him go all Cagey. Knowing that, for him not to talk even once during the entire movie is either the best piece of performance art ever or the biggest fuck you an actor has ever given to his fans.
Give Cage credit for going all-in on this mindfuckery. Not only does he not talk, his character doesn't have a name. He's referred to only as the Janitor. Aside from a quick shot of dog tags hanging from his rearview mirror, the Janitor has no backstory. All we learn about him is: he's good at killing possessed animatronic pizza joint band bots, and he religiously drinks a can of soda every so many minutes.
I'm talking censers-and-altar-boy-rape religiously. At one point, a young woman is fighting for her life and the Janitor's timer goes off, so he leaves her without looking back and heads off for another soda. What is the significance of the sodas or the schedule he must drink them on? No one will ever know, which blows because it would have been easier than a drunk chick with low self-esteem and daddy issues to use the Janitor's soda addiction to explain who he was and/or why he's so good at killing possessed animatronics.
As beautifully batshit crazy as Willy's Wonderland is, it really could've benefited from just that tiny bit of connective tissue. Why is the Janitor - who isn't really a janitor but just a guy working off his car repair debt for one night as the unwitting victim of a dastardly plot - completely unfazed when the first bot walks across the room, says it's going to kill him, and then tries to do just that? Why does the Janitor keep cleaning Willy's Wonderland even after he's been attacked by the Itchy and Scratchy bots?
Willy's Wonderland will either become a cult classic or be forgotten by the time you finish this sentence.
April 16, 2021
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