Blood Work

Starring:
Clint Eastwood as Terrell McCaleb
Wanda De Jesus as Graciela Rivers
Jeff Daniels as Buddy Noone
Anjelica Huston as Dr. Bonnie Fox
Tina Lifford as Detective Jaye Winston
P.J. Byrne as Fornensics Officer
Alix Koromzay as Mrs. Cordell
Beverly Leech as Juliette Loveland
Mason Lucero as Raymond
Paul Rodriguez

Summary:
“Blood Work” starts out great, but then ends up being horribly predictable.

What’s It About:
Terrell McCaleb was a famous FBI profiler. When he was at the top of his game, he almost caught a serial killer who taunted him personally through messages at the crime scenes. However, severe heart problems caused him to go into early retirement.

Two years later, McCaleb has just received a heart transplant and is in recovery. One day he receives a visitor by the name of Graciela Rivers. It turns out she is the sister of the woman whose heart McCaleb received. Rivers informs him that her sister was murdered and the case was never solved. Feeling a sense of obligation to the family, McCaleb agrees to investigate. As he chases down leads in the case, his body becomes more and more weakened from the exertion. He eventually learns, as you might guess, that the death of Graciela’s sister is tied to the murderer from the past. As McCaleb becomes more driven to catch the killer, he himself might not survive the ordeal.

“Blood Work” is rated R for violence and language.

What Worked:
“Blood Work” had an interesting concept behind it. Having Dirty Harry himself weakened by a bad heart adds an extra dimension to his character. He’s tough and driven, yet hampered physically. Then having him investigate the death of the woman whose heart is keeping him alive is yet another intriguing bit of drama that puts this story on the right path. His sense of obligation and guilt makes his desire to solve the case all the more understandable.

This is a good looking film. The locations in California are nice and the scenes are set up well. I enjoyed this film the most during the action scenes. There’s a good shoot out on a street and an intense game of cat and mouse during the finale in an abandoned ship. It all comes together well.

The cast is pretty good. Clint Eastwood is exactly the same as he is in every movie. In fact, there were a couple of times that this looked like a Dirty Harry sequel. Graciela Rivers is intense as the sister of the murdered woman. Paul Rodriguez and Jeff Daniels both provide some much needed comic relief in this otherwise dark film.

What Didn’t Work:
I went into this film cold not knowing anything about it. After a great opening that pulled me into the story, the movie quickly self-destructed into predictability. I had the killer spotted in the first 20 minutes of the film. This movie is not subtle about throwing clues your way at all. The creators spoil the surprise like a magician with a card falling out of his sleeve. It’s very obvious. Even if you don’t catch the clues, the commercials will spoil it for you. It takes McCaleb about 1 ½ hours into the movie to figure out that the serial killer from his past is the one who murdered Graciela Rivers’ sister. The commercials which I saw after the movie screening spoiled that right off the bat. This predictability alone is the reason I knocked my rating of this film down so far. It’s simply not worth more than a rental at the video store. Only Clint Eastwood fans will want to see this one in theaters, and even then they may not leave satisfied.

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