Bruce Willis seems to be in a movie every other month and this time he’s bringing another Hollywood veteran with him to the new action flick “Gasoline Alley”. Willis stars alongside Luke Wilson as a couple of cops who investigate a tattoo artist played by Devin Sawa who is being investigated for a triple homicide. Knowing his innocence, he begins his own investigation and will uncover a hidden operation much bigger than his reach. It’s a textbook straight-to-video action plotline and it delivers about what you would expect.
Willis and Wilson are given a couple of things to do, primarily Wilson. Willis has this habit of showing up for the poster shoot, filming a couple scenes, and being done. There was a time that this would be a disappointment. However, with the effort Willis has been bringing to some of these B-Movies, it sadly has become a ‘ less is more’ scenario with a man that once commanded the box-office. The central focus is on Sawa’s character, and to his credit he delivers more than a capable performance for a grounded bad ass.
With an unlit cigarette frequently gripped in his lips he maneuvers through the seedy world of filmmaking to prove his innocence. This results in fight-sequences, some car chases, and gunplay. And admittedly these sequences are modestly enjoyable. The direction is capable and they effectively amp up the tension. The story between these moments to no surprise was where “Gasoline Alley” stumbles the most. It feels like it goes through the motions. It’s frequent conversations with characters looking for other characters consumes the runtime and it’s all a bit thin.
As for the famous names, Willis barely seems awake as this gruff detective. He turns it on a couple times but it’s a far cry from his glory days. Wilson brings a solid performance with enough effort to fill his role. He’s a bit more active in this movie and it would’ve been nice to have more of him. But Sawa takes center stage, and his effort does bring the film a few glimmers of bright spots. Unfortunately, the writing doesn’t help him much. It’s not very interesting and without much depth it’s hard to really care about the ramifications of…really anything. “Gasoline Alley” lands spots of fun violent action, but the movie wrapped around it lacks ambition to be memorable.
Anthony J. Digioia II © 2022 SilverScreen Analysis. All Rights Reserved.