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With: Devon Sawa, Luke Wilson, Bruce Willis, Kat Foster, Sufe Bradshaw, Johnny Dowers, Ash Adams, Irina Antonenko
Written by: Edward Drake, Tom Sierchio
Directed by: Edward Drake
MPAA Rating:
Language: R for violent content, drug use, language throughout and some sexual content
Running Time: 97
Date: 02/25/2022

Gasoline Alley (2022)

1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Somehow a better class of actors was lured into working in yet another in a string of bad, low-budget Bruce Willis movies, but not even their efforts can save this muddled, tonally inconsistent mess.

Formerly incarcerated Jimmy Jayne (Devon Sawa) runs a tattoo shop called "Gasoline Alley." He goes to a favorite bar and speaks to a beautiful sex worker called Star (Irina Antonenko). Unfortunately, the next day, Star and three other women turn up dead, and Jimmy was the last person Star was seen with. Plus a lighter with his shop's logo was left at the crime scene.

Police detectives Vargas (Luke Wilson) and Freeman (Bruce Willis) are on the case, and suspect Jimmy. So Jimmy does some investigating of his own, and picks up a trail leading to small-time drug-dealer Percy Muleeny (Rick Salomon). But the deeper he digs, the more trouble Jimmy finds himself getting into.

At first, the plot of Gasoline Alley makes sense, as Jimmy simply wishes to clear his name of a murder charge. But his investigation makes no sense as he kicks it off by visiting the set of a TV show to talk to an actor friend, for no particular reason. It's there that director Edward John Drake (Cosmic Sin) seems to make fun of his own movies; the show is called American Siege (also the title of Drake's last Willis movie), and characters wonder "who pays to watch this s---?"

Things grow more out of control as the movie begins introducing more characters and more motives, and when the killer is finally revealed, it happens more with a "thud" than a "click." Sawa tries to bring some hard-boiled toughness to his role, while Wilson reads his lines with a fast-paced wryness, even though what he actually says flip-flops all over the place. Some of the supporting characters show promise, but, all too often, are gone before they've had a chance.

Meanwhile, Willis looks either confused or tired, and he's not the only one. Even a newscaster on TV sounds bored while delivering the news about the gruesome quadruple murder. Gasoline Alley doesn't have enough fuel to make even that much sound interesting.

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