Gasoline Alley

Starring: Devon Sawwa, Luke Wilson, and Bruce Willis.

Directed By: Edward Drake

Where I Watched It: This film is currently available on Hulu.

English Audio Description Provided By: International Digital Center

Written By: Nick Schrieber

Narrated By: Bill Larson

The Plot: A tattoo artist (Sawa) was hanging out in a bar, which later turns out to be the final destination for four girls who are murdered inside this bar. And because he left his lighter, which he once left inside a urinal, at the bar, the cops (Wilson/Willis) have pegged this guy as the main suspect. So, he must clear his name, and figure out what happened to those girls, if he ever wants to return to his tattoo shop, aka Gasoline Alley.

What Works: Honestly, nothing. However, Luke Wilson plays his character with such an effective kick down the door attitude, where everything he says is borderline aggressive, if not full on egomaniac. He’s there to let you know, he means some fucking business. He’s bad cop, but he doesn’t need a good cop, he just needs to hit all of his lines with this level of scrutiny and intensity that makes you feel like he’s watching you while you sleep. It’s a very uncharacteristic performance from Wilson, but it’s brilliant in its own way. It’s also terribly written, but Wilson almost makes you forget that. He’s exceptional at delivering the worst lines of dialogue, and remains the ONLY reason anyone might ever attempt to watch this film.

What Doesn’t Work: i don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about Bruce here. We all know he’s quit acting, he has a medical condition, and in what may very well be his final performance, he collected a paycheck. He barely has dialogue in this film, and calling him a lead is a stretch. Many times, he just stands and stares. But when he does speak, it’s clear that he is not OK.

But holy shit Batman. Devon Sawa is still alive, and someone decided to make him the lead in a movie. If I was headed out to make my career in film right now, and my agent called me and said “I got you a part, it’s in a Devon Sawa movie”, I would pass. Likely, it would look like this dumpster fire from hell.

This film is aggressively terrible, and frequently doesn’t care if it makes sense. Sawa’s character liked to go to that bar because it’s where his mom used to “work”. He has connections to the film industry, because he did time with a guy who is now on a show that has 117 million viewers. That’s right. He fucking knows Jesus Christ. There’s no way you could get 117 million people to watch anything on tv simultaneously right now, a fact made all the more stupid when the lead actor tattoos his ratings on his body.

That’s not even excusing some random girl that is introduced presumably as the female lead, but given about as much attention as that cactus you picked out because the guy in the store said it would never die, even if you didn’t water it for months. She shows up first to be angry at Sawa for being his alibi, and every other scene she’s in is irrelevant. She’s clearly not his girlfriend, they are not in love. She can barely exist within the confines of this film.

The shithole also has a problem with figuring out who it wants to be the main villain. You’d think that maybe that was to confuse you, but it’s impossible to not follow at least the thoughts of the dumbest characters on film this year. It’s just, that they set up one guy as the villain, and keep moving up the ladder. Eventually, there’s some secret guy behind door number one, but we’ve spent no time building him up, so the impact is nothing. The reveal for which of the two cops is bad is telegraphed far in advance, so you just kind of spend an hour waiting for something to resolve.

This is one of the most profoundly stupid films I’ve watched. And yet, I now compare everything to Marmaduke. That film was so terrible, that other terrible films end up getting a pass, because in that grand battle of “which film would I recommend, with a gun to my head?” Or, which would I want to watch again if my life depended on it, then the answer ends up being Gasoline Alley. Because at least it isn’t Marmaduke.

The Blind Perspective: Surprisingly, Larson does a good job with this, and Schreiber’s script is fine. Shitty films seem to frequently have solid audio description, and this was no exception.

Final Thoughts: I would rather you stay in bed all day than watch this. But if you’re curious as to where Bruce Willis is at (which is the ONLY reason i watched this garbage), then at least I can tell you Luke Wilson is oddly entertaining.

Final Grade: D

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