You'd think a movie steeped in sex, drugs, and murder would have an easier time keeping my attention. But alas, aside from interesting performances and a spastic, kinetic energy there's not a whole lot to enjoy. Two stars for the horrible fake beard on McDermott.
An interestingly dark minor-adjunct in vernacular history is here near ruined by a horribly prevalent style of flashy direction with crash edits, egregious slow-mo emphasis and the burden of interjected pop music - everything bar plot development and characterisation. A propellant of degeneracy rather than an analysis of it and sub-True Crimes in many respects in it’s gimmickry over substance.
In my opinion, one of Val Kilmer's best performances until then beside HEAT and THE DOORS'. WONDERLAND is not about who was responsible for the murders but about a microcosmos, eminently cinematic, certainly, but drearily decadent. Recommended.
I liked this more than I expected but then I had a hard time being objective. I was already familiar with the Wonderland murders and wonder if the narrative was clear enough to communicate it someone to someone with no knowledge of events. For a film dealing with such infamous characters they feel more puzzle pieces here. Worth seeing for true crime fans like myself otherwise I'd just re-watch Boogie Nights.
An amazing film that will stick with you whether you watch it once or a dozen times. Layered, complex, brutal and horrific, at the core of this story are really screwed up people, three-dimensional characters you feel you know and care about, characters who challenge, frustrate, and reward. Inventive and clever technology carries the story, solid direction, sharp as a razor dialog and notable cast all around.