on October 24, 2003 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
In the summer of 1981, four people were brutally murdered in an attack on Wonderland Avenue in Los Angeles' Laurel Canyon neighborhood. One of the suspects was John C. Holmes (Val Kilmer), aka Johnny Wadd, once the most famous (and most well endowed) pornographic movie star of them all. "Wonderland" purports to be a "Rashomon"-like examination of how Holmes, now a junkie, fell so far and fast. Was he coerced into participating in the killings or did he betray his drug suppliers for money? The movie never definitively answers any of those questions but audiences aren't likely to care what Holmes did or didn't do since Val Kilmer completely fails to bring him to cinematic life. Director James Cox's promiscuous use of color filters and jump cuts never rises above lurid tabloid journalism. Only Josh Lucas, superb as a nasty drug dealer, manages to survive this pointless movie. Starring Val Kilmer, Lisa Kudrow, Kate Bosworth and Eric Bogosian. Directed by James Cox. Written by James Cox, Captain Mauzner, Todd Samovitz and D. Loriston Scott. Produced by Holly Wiersma and Michael Paseornek. A Lions Gate release. Drama. Rated R for strong violence/grisly images, pervasive drug use and language, and some sexuality/nudity. Running time: 104 min
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