The Dalton Gang were one of the most notorious criminal gangs in the Old West. Four of the gang were brothers; Emmet (Joshua R. Outzen), Bill (Justin France), Bob (Tristan Campbell) and Grat (Jake Washburn) and over their time there were eleven members. Previously being lawmakers, they turned to crime and began specialising in robbing bank, trains and stagecoaches.
Their reputation spread so wide that bounties were placed on each of them and the law were eager to take them down by any means possible. Death Alley tells the story of the notorious gang as they make their final bank robbery together which resulted in tragedy.
Unfortunately, it seems that’s as far as Death Alley goes in terms of storytelling as there seems to be no attempt to flesh out the story or characters in any way. The production value may look good and the actors may look the part, but there really isn’t anything else to keep the audience invested.
To tell a story such as this suggests that some artistic license could have been taken in order to make the story and characters more interesting. However, it seems that writer/director Nicholas Barton is only interested in telling the facts and makes little attempt at bringing The Dalton Gang to life as their story could have been much more interesting.
The start of the film does put the gang together and with a little narration it sets up the scene, but the gang all seem to be the same besides a few lines of dialogue observed by other characters about them.
This means that it’s very hard to get to know The Dalton Gang and therefore very difficult for the audience to support them, which is a pity because Death Alley very much wants to romanticise their exploits.
There’s also no real attempt to make The Dalton Gang out to be anything other than small time crooks and their reputation is never really built on enough besides the occasional character showing shock and awe when they arrive. Death Alley wants to be Young Guns, but it buries itself with a deathly dull Tombstone.
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