Wonderland (2003) - Crime, Drama, Mystery

Hohum Score

58

Bearable

In the police investigation of a brutal crime scene, one man was at the center of it all: legendary porn star John Holmes.

IMDB: 6.6
Director: James Cox
Stars: Val Kilmer, Lisa Kudrow
Length: 104 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 32 out of 162 found boring (19.75%)

One-line Reviews (126)

It's a fascinating and disturbing story, which does come across in large part, thanks to the director's commentary and the documentary about John Holmes that's included with the DVD.

A pointless, unpleasant and ultimately meaningless assault on the eyes and ears, "Wonderland" leaves one wondering only why the film was made in the first place and who in their right mind gave the greenlight to this dreary and tangled mess.

I have just seen this film and am very impressed with Val Kilmer's performance as a totally self-immersed drug addict and manipulator.

The movie itself is quite gripping, and shot in a very unique style.

compelling movie, loved it .

Overall this is an interesting and engaging film that works well as a crime thriller crossed with a Rashomon telling.

'Wonderland' is a taught, intense thriller, a desperate love story and a story of a man's sad decline all in one; there is a clever use of the 'Rashomon' technique (we see the events of that fateful day and night from the eyes of David, John, Dawn, Susan (albeit very briefly) and Sharon), a nice direction and a great script, but is mostly compelling for the performances, especially Kilmer's, who takes central stage with his hopeless, tormented, sometimes childish Holmes, Lucas', whose Launius is strangely alluring, Kudrow's strong Sharon and Bosworth's innocent Dawn.

After a brief introduction, John Holmes, played by the normally-intense Val Kilmer, is pushed aside by the film makers to establish the perspective of David Lind, played by Dylan McDermott, a surviving member of the doomed drug-dealing gang based at the Wonderland apartment.

Fast Paced True Crime Saga .

But besides that there isn't much positive stuff I can say about this film, it was dull for the most part and not very interesting to watch.

The disturbing, thrilling and two sided notion of this film, will keep you puzzled until the end.

I believe this is a movie of quality with good performances by its stars and worth watching.

Overall, an excellent movie worth the watch, even if once!

Strutting, cringing, bragging or begging, Kilmer is constantly in character and the character is constantly a fascinating car wreck.

The silver lining is you get to see it all play out in killer style, smoky and evocative 1970's cinematography and dedicated thespians branding each scene with their own lunacy.

it IS too long.

Finally, the gore in this film is as pointless and inscrutable as it is inevitable.

An entertaining, attractive and cool movie.

Yet, despite the reservations one might have about the film, 'Wonderland' is ultimately worth watching for its storyline and the fascinating glimpse it affords into this bizarre piece of pop culture history.

While Wonderland is an ok account of the Wonderland murders , the film suffers from it's awkward fast paced MTV editing in the first 20 minutes and a rather unrealistic performance of Holmes by Val Kilmer...

Absorbing true crime picture.

With an intriguing and stylish trailer, I was looking forward to the film and, despite it coming and going quickly in the cinema I managed to catch it on DVD.

Gory and fascinating, and i'm sure most of you do the pause or slow-mo run after.

Very intense and rugged, butawesome.

The pace of the direction was very tedious.

It also illustrates the slow and fatal decline of John Holmes from his post-porno world to the beginning of his death from AIDS, and this was the best role I ever saw Val Kilmer play.

Heck, it was not his fault, he had no script to work with.

This film is supposed to shed some light on what happened that fateful night - but it just ends up being confusing and pretty pointless.

The suspense is heavy and the mystery is truly fascinating.

Dull, Plodding and Uncertain, It's Bad on Many Levels .

But a confusing, violent, Rashomon-style study of a series of murders Holmes was connected with after his career ended?

But not all films like this can be gripping, intense, and remarkable.

For one thing, the film reminds us that these incredible events really happened and it gives us a compelling vision of what the people behind the events must have been like.

Very Frank, Very Violent, Very Entertaining .

Presumably inspired by the success of 'Boogie Nights' and the nostalgia for vintage porn resulting from the recent mainstreaming of the industry, 'Wonderland' is one of the most pointless and grotesque films made in recent memory.

What makes the story a little more intriguing is that the legendary porn actor John C.

But despite the film's problems, I liked "Wonderland" because of its gripping, true-life premise, and because of its cultural setting and built-in mystery.

Snore!

Watch "Wonderland" once yes but please watch "Boogienights" it's much, much more entertaining.

Gruesome, but a intriguing watch.

Bound to be compelling, bound to be entertaining.

Bound to be enlightening and fascinating on about a million levels (and I have zero interest in porn).

Three very engaging actors giving decent performances.

I wish it would have been more linear; as events are told and retold from different perspectives, the plot becomes more confusing than it needed to be.

Every tiresome effect in the book of cheap narration is being utilised here, and after about ten minutes it was obvious to me that the director and cinematographer were running out of ideas.

Cox suggests that no matter how much we learn about Wonderland, there is always a worse version possible, but looking through the debauchery surrounding it is much more fascinating than understanding the truth.

Ensemble Cast Re-Enacts A Fascinating Tale of Porn, Drugs, And Murder .

His credibility and talent makes the whole movie worth watching.

Crime is the centerpiece of the movie and the unravelling of the process is intriguing.

It feels like coming out of a roller-coaster and stepping into a very slow train.

Overall, I found it suspenseful, thought provoking and visually interesting.

It is a very shallow piece and dare I say, boring.

How can a real-life brutal murder be turned into a truly boring movie?

I don't hate the film, I don't really like the film, I just sort of think its there and existing in a pointless place in the universe.

This film is very artfully done; they get away with telling a pretty ugly,violent story with a bunch of unsavory characters and make thewhole thing compelling.

I enjoyed Val Kilmers performance as "Jim Morrison" but as "John Holms" he was unconvincing and boring, same goes for the rest of the cast.

Holmes and company are the end result of a strange collision of anti-matter like sex, and drugs and rock & roll, when the lab technicians get bored and move on.

I wish it would have been more linear; as events are told and retold from different perspectives, the plot becomes more confusing than it needed to be.

Wonderland is the fascinating film chronicling the x-rated film star John C.

Overall, it was very frank, very violent but very entertaining.

There is too much good material here to require dull filler scenes.

Ultimately, though, this may prove to be compelling for any person interested in real crime stories, as it introduces us to all of the key players involved, including a crime boss, played by Eric Bogosian in one of his better big screen roles.

entertaining murder story .

Very well directed and stunning performances.

The touches help make "Wonderland" an engrossing, if harrowing, trip through the looking glass.

Viewers watching the film on video and DVD will have an advantage over cinemagoers as the pre-credits sequence comes off as extremely confusing on first viewing.

The pixilated violence and muted color sets the seedy tone but the wobble-cam gets tiresome, as if we are gawking at their nostrils all the time.

Throughout the movie, you'll hear people cast judgement on him, and thanks to Kilmer's extraordinary, compelling performance, he keeps you wondering.

Gripping from beginning to mind blowing end .

Its shot in a bright, exciting way reminding one of an orgasm or a drug hit (entirely appropriatetly).

Horrific real life mystery made into a boring film.

Her portrayal of the overly-religious figure was, I think, a bit too cliche of her appearence.

We are told the same story from two different viewpoints, but the story isn't told chronologically, which kind of added to the confusion.

All is revealed by the time the credits roll – and while the film is at times very hard work, Wonderland is definitely also entertaining.

Locations are drab, have little definition to them, and do not feel very Californian.

While the film takes places two years after Holmes had fallen out of porn and into a truly wicked drug fueled depravity, Kilmer relentlessly exudes a sexuality so intense it can be measured in inches.

The problem comes from Cox's intense focus on the crime itself.

It's a very interesting, intriguing story, and it makes me appreciate the comforts of my life.

", etc/In any case, this was a pretty good movie and it got more entertaining the further along you go in the film's story.

Despite being mislead the film is actually engaging.

Val Kilmer as Holmes is riveting, and the final scene he has with Kudrow captures the poor guy's complete disintegration into psychotic self-pity.

Ted Levine, playing the older partner, is especially intense, as in the words of director James Cox.

This all leads to an extraordinarily boring movie.

Even so, for viewers interested specifically in this case, the story is riveting.

The artsy visuals and inventive ways the makers of this film move the story along were unexpected and creatively pleasing.

What followed was one of the more engaging flicks I've seen in the last couple years.

I tried rewatching this recently and was struck by how unwatchable it is.

Definitely a very enjoyable film.

Wonderland ultimately just emerges as a disjointed,hard-to-fathom and,in parts,downright incoherent effort,with a story that's hard to keep up with and understand and ultimately emerges as confusing.

There's just something about movies based on actual events that I find fascinating.

Pointless.

There seems to be a confusion of concept going on here.

Sleaze and drugs always makes an entertaining film.

Wonderland was also criticized for its "style" and lack of soul -- though it should be obvious that is the POINT of the movie -- these people don't reflect on their state and what drives them, they are just caught up in a self-indulgent, drug-crazed folly, and the style augments and reflects that.

Worth watching .

The Brazilian DVD is single, and I hope the distributor has spared Brazilian audience of such waste of time.

Movies that feature a less pleasant view of life are almost invariably more attractive to viewers looking for the edgy, the non-mundane, the twist.

On a side not I just don't see how anyone can like or sympathize for this horrible dirty piece of scum called John Holmes I wish he could die 20 times over , and got what was coming to him and what he deserved a slow and mentally painful death from Aids.

She has a fascinating story, sticking by him and supporting him even after leaving him, even after the drug deal, and staying so close and protective of the girlfriend.

Then something happened and the movie got boring as hell.

It's a gritty, suspenseful flick that also reveals the fragility of ego, and Val Kilmer is on par with "The Doors" in this one.

Josh Lucas is really, legitimately scary -- a dark, intense and extremely unnerving portrayal-- best performance he's given that I've seen.

Normally, I love movies that are gritty and lowdown - all about sex, hard drugs and violence, but "Wonderland" struck me as strangely empty.

To make matters about a thousand times worse, the picture is loaded down with jerkoff gimmicks -- annoying machine gun editing, sloppy Dogme-95 camerawork, unnecessary split-screen graphics and animation, etc. etc. In the absence of a compelling story and unique main character, the director (and I use the term loosely) has thrown together a dozen or so techniques from other films and decided to call the resulting mess a movie, among these: the trendy, bleach-bypass look of "Narc" or "Traffic" or "Minority Report;" the frantic, often incomprehensible, throw-the-pieces-of-film-in-the-air cutting style of "Natural Born Killers" or "28 Days Later;" the fill-every-moment-of-silence-with- an-old-song-to-evoke-the-period soundtrack of "Goodfellas" or "Blow;" the groovy, retro title sequence of "Velvet Goldmine" or "Autofocus" or "Catch Me If You Can.

It isvery creatively edited; fast paced in a palpable way.

But De Niro's performance as Max Cady, which could easily have gone over the top, is the only thing that raises that trite thriller up to mediocrity.

It is muddled and energy driven and it fails to become totally absorbing.

But for all its intentions, 'Wonderland' really is still a confusing non-starter.

You will feel the fear and confusion that people had when it came to defining the elements that made him click.

There is no comedy, just a never ending pace, as if the director is trying to put us into the nervous, fast paced, edgy cocaine high to make us feel what the characters are feeling.

The use of a disjointed 'Pulp Fiction' style time line allows exploration of the uncertainty concerning what really happened, while the direction and performances of the cast command attention, especially Val Kilmer as John Holmes; an Oscar for sure if I were handing them out.

Probably because the acting is so intense, it's the cinematic equivalent of a crack pipe you can't put down, even though it's burning your hands and you can't get "high" anymore.

Rather pointless gangland stuff with only a vague nod to stylishness and authenticity .

It contains a bunch of amped up crazies that get tiresome after the first 10 minutes.

This "Rashomon"-like film deals with what's known about the Wonderland murders and comes across as being more informative than entertaining.

Or we could talk about how this director was able to make a story about John "Foot Long" Holmes and the murder of four people, boring!

It isn't entirely factual, but it's far more enjoyable.

It has the sordid, excessive sleaziness of U Turn, and the studious inquisition into true crime and intriguing Americana that he showed us in JFK.

pointless assault .

Kilmer's character disappears for long stretches, his girlfriend is dull, the police are jokes.

McDermott fares similarly, and Lucas is thoroughly entertaining and sells crazy perfectly.

Or should we focus on the dull look of the film, not one memorable shot in the whole film.

With many scenes filmed in a hard to follow style this film spent very little time actually focusing on its topic, John Holmes' involvement in the Wonderland murders, in fact John Holmes was almost a secondary character in this film.

This movie can also be hard to follow in Act 1 for my fellow ADD sufferers.

Good start but boring after about 30 minutes .

A drab, ambiguous, morally-vacant jumble that rides its barely-famous subjects' coat tails for as long as it can.