Bruce Willis films of late should perhaps come with a warning attached and
it should read “although Bruce Willis is given top credit in this film his
name attached should have no bearing on the time that he actually appears
in this film”. In Gasoline Alley, as in numerous other films that Willis
has appeared over the last few years, Willis appears for mere minutes in
the running time of the film, the only apparent reason he can be there is
do draw fans in – under false pretences I would say if you’re buying or
renting this only to see Willis in action.
Underused and acting, in the few minutes that he appears, as if he can’t be
bothered Willis’s presence only draws down a film that, without him, might
have been pretty half decent.
The Gasoline Alley of the title is a tattoo parlour run by ex-con Jimmy
Jayne (Devon Sawa). After a number of prostitutes are found brutally
murdered Jayne becomes the prime suspect in a case being investigated by LA
Homicide detectives, Freeman (Bruce Willis) and Vargas (Luke Wilson).
The plot involving girls in the adult movie industry, human trafficking and
drugs moves along at a steady pace but does at times with the introduction
of various random characters become a bit confusing and the ending will
come as no surprise to anyone that’s managed to keep up with the plot.
Sawa, who, no matter what the marketing people or the end credits say, is
actually the star of Gasoline Alley is pretty charismatic in his role,
don’t be surprised if he crops up in bigger and better films in the future.
Wilson is in the film for just slightly longer than Willis but at least he
has the decency to look interested when he’s on the screen.
Gasoline Alley won’t win any awards but it is certainly much better than
some of Willis’s recent vehicles, Apex, American Siege, Breach etc, all of
which have either been directed or scripted by Gasoline Alleys director
Edward Drake. In fact Willis has appeared in so many of Drakes previous
films over the last couple of years it makes you wonder if Willis owes him
Don’t go into this film expecting a Bruce Willis action film as that’s not
what you get. What in fact you do get is a competent thriller with a great
performance from Devon Sawa and proof that some action heroes should either
hang up their vests or get a better agent.