Archives for posts with tag: Bruce Willis

We’ve been trained by Coppola and Scorsese to expect mobster movies to follow epic story arcs, so it might feel a little odd to watch one that’s more tightly wound around a small series of events. Or maybe “Billy Bathgate” (1991) isn’t all that good. It didn’t do much for the career of Loren Dean (Billy), who carries this Depression-era story headlined by Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman and Bruce Willis. Kidman sleeps with all of them while being married to Xander Berkeley, a more interesting subplot than the main gangster boilerplate. Billy’s a young wannabe. Maybe this film was, too.

It’s tough when you’re watching a simple-yet-elegant opening credits sequence and you know that’ll be the best part of the movie. But that’s where we are until we finish digesting the massive backlog of Bruce Willis dirty cop flicks. In “Gasoline Alley” (2022), he’s joined by Devon Sawa, who’s possibly being framed for a homicide, and Luke Wilson, punching above this film’s weight as a glib detective who knows who isn’t the murderer but doesn’t know who is. Willis is Wilson’s partner. Sawa turns amateur sleuth in this sloppily constructed police procedural. Kudos to second unit director Robert Laenen, though.

Film fans by now are likely aware there was an announcement that longtime action hero Bruce Willis would be stepping away from acting due to “aphasia.” If that’s code for dementia, I feel for Bruce and his family. Having dealt with it up-close, I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. It also throws a huge plot twist into unflattering perceptions about his recent choices of films (these films should still be assessed apart from his health issues). Cashing huge checks to play token roles in a plethora of mediocre movies reeks of exploitation. The question now becomes: who was exploiting who?