Brian’s Review – “Wonderland” (2003)

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

Brian –

Rating – 3 out of 10

Here’s a case of a film being made with an awful lot of style, a gritty and realistic tone, and a breakneck pace that couldn’t be more boring. Why? It’s not possible to care less about any of these characters. Every single one of them is completely single-minded or worthless. It’s a shame too because there’s some good actors in this. Val Kilmer has shown he is extremely capable(watch the Doors), Josh Lucas can play over the top better than most, and Kate Bosworth has been solid when she’s not playing Lois Lane.


The film chooses to focus on the aftermath of John Holmes (renowned 70’s pornstar) well after his career in adult films is over. He’s a loser druggie whose sole motivation is his next high. His girlfriend’s (Kate Bosworth) sole motivation is loving John Holmes. His druggie friends’ sole motivation is getting more money and drugs. You see where I’m going with this?


It’s hard to give half a shit about the characters when are so one dimensional. We are never given any back story on any of them. As the film opens, we know there was a series of murders involving a lot of money and drugs. We then spend the rest of the time watching investigators pore over exactly what happened and why. The problem with that scenario is: who cares? It’s not like we’re watching “In Cold Blood” here where innocent people are put at risk or Boogie Nights where we have seen an evolution of the characters. It’s loser druggies killing loser druggies without any back story.


The only side plot away from that is a very odd one in which John Holmes wife (played by Lisa Kudrow who acts like she’s sleepwalking) has a devotion to a man who fucks teenage girls and men behind her back, takes all her money for drugs, and has her help him get away with accessory to murder. Well……WHY??? The movie never explains what her motivations are and at that point I was too fucking bored to try to figure it out for myself. It’s incredibly lazy to slop down a factual event involving murders onto a screenplay simply because one of the people involved was a semi-famous pornstar and expect that anyone watching would care without any character history. There’s just too many quality films out there for anyone to waste 1 hour and 45 minutes watching this mess go nowhere.

2 responses to “Brian’s Review – “Wonderland” (2003)

  1. kidmiracleshitter

    I agree with your assessment.The shooting style and pace were fun, and it liberally borrows from the narrative of Akira Kuroswa’s excellent Rashoman, but the screenplay just ins’t very good. It is odd that so many talented actors are wasted here, maybe they just wanted to hang out with Val Kilmer and get paid.

  2. Pingback: Wonderland 2003 Dvd

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