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Overall Rating
3.11

Awesome: 12.7%
Worth A Look: 26.98%
Just Average31.75%
Pretty Crappy: 15.87%
Sucks: 12.7%

6 reviews, 27 user ratings



Blood Work
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by Natasha Theobald

"No frills. No surprises."
2 stars

It's almost a shame that this movie was made for adult audiences, because only a young child wouldn't see the majority of it coming from miles in the distance, from the very title card, for goodness sake. I didn't mind at first, because the performances were enjoyable and watching the story unfold at a solid, dignified pace was sort of interesting. Then, things got mired down with romance and predictability, and I just wanted it to be over before the obligatory murderer's explanation of his or her motives and the final fight scene. No such luck.

Terry McCaleb's (Clint Eastwood) last case as an FBI agent involved a serial killer who left him encoded messages that anyone should have been able to decode, but no one did. His last act on the case was to give chase, managing to just get a bullet into the guy before his heart gave up on him, literally. In the intervening two years, Terry has waited for a new heart, a wait lengthened, perhaps, by his rare blood type. The heart he finally got came at a price.

A couple of months after his transplant, Terry is visited by a woman, Graciella Rivers (Wanda De Jesus), who claims to be the sister of his donor. The woman, it seems, was murdered, and her sister wants Terry to climb out of his sick bed and retirement to take a look at the case. How can he say no? His doctor (Anjelica Huston) feels that his health is in jeopardy. His friend, Buddy (Jeff Daniels), tries to help but worries that Terry is growing overtired. Some of his former cop buddies (Tina Lifford) are happy to have him on the case, and others (Paul Rodriguez, Dylan Walsh) were happier to have him gone. With both, he is able to get enough police support and information to lead him on his quest to finding the killer whose evil brought him some good.

Clint Eastwood gives a sturdy performance and direction to the film. His presence is a touchstone, and his character's journey is the best reason to watch. The fact that people who are supposedly the best investigators around still can't figure this one out is some cause for concern, but, though very predictable, the film is not unwatchable. It also is somewhat refreshing to have a more mature cast than your average movie, to see people who have led rich lives and have real experience brings something genuine and weighty to the screen. That was nice, but not quite nice enough to overcome a weak story. If the drama were rich enough to compensate for the dull lack of mystery, the film might have worked better. But, having put all of their eggs in the whodunit basket, the story suffers from dreadful obviousness and, dare I say it, anemia.

Though this film didn't really live up to my expectations, I would still spend my money on a new Clint Eastwood release tomorrow. I am drawn to the characters he brings to the screen, the sort of old-fashioned men you can depend on, and I am truly glad that he is still doing it. Here's to a better script the next time around, something more worthy of its craftsman.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6055&reviewer=317
originally posted: 03/29/03 00:38:58
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User Comments

9/05/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess The murderer is easy to guess, but it's well worth watching non the less 4 stars
1/02/10 Jeff Wilder Sadly Eastwood missed with this one. 2 stars
1/26/09 Shaun Wallner Pure Entertainment! 4 stars
11/11/08 christine chamonix Clint is looking for emotional trueblue life story 4 stars
9/27/07 mr.mike liked it.didn't guess the killer-i'm a boob! 4 stars
6/12/06 William Goss A meh murder mystery movie. 3 stars
11/26/05 Indrid Cold Unremarkable, surprisingly sloppy acting and direction. 3 stars
10/02/05 Buddy Noone good for us old-time Eastwood fans 4 stars
8/29/05 ES Predictable doesn't begin to describe it, its as transparent as 'Kiss the girls' 1 stars
4/18/05 Maril Smith Too predictable and Eastwood does a poor acting job. 2 stars
3/21/05 tatum Eastwood puts no effort in here; completely average 3 stars
3/05/05 R.W. Welch Somewhat overplotted aging detective yarn. Moderately entertaining. 4 stars
12/21/04 albert another great eastwood job,as usual. 5 stars
12/04/04 Phil M. Aficionado Contrived and formulaic pap. 2 stars
10/29/04 HL Made for TVish & You know who the bad guy is.. 3 stars
3/23/04 KGB This should've been a 'Dirty' Harry flick 4 stars
6/04/03 Picky critic Might hold your attention for 2 hours, but very forgettable. Run-of-the-mill Hollywood 2 stars
3/31/03 Chris Barts Mildly interesting, if only to see an actor playing so deliberately against type. 4 stars
2/28/03 Monday Morning Very average, but I'd like to rail that Wanda de Jesus till her ears bleed. 3 stars
1/14/03 John Bale Aged Eastwood, Jeff (Dumb) Daniels, and a new ending don't save a pedestrian film 3 stars
1/13/03 Paul Coleman Clint still hasn't lost it. This was a good, above-average thriller. 4 stars
1/10/03 mwildema that romance thing needs to be removed 4 stars
11/20/02 Reini Urban Okay, only occasional laughs when he undresses. 3 stars
9/23/02 marco guerra Clint should only direct,'cause he shows age and tireness acting. 3 stars
8/24/02 ^ZuLu^ stupid, absolutely predictable and no tension 1 stars
8/18/02 Craig Not Clint's best, but it feels like home. Good job, Mr. E 4 stars
8/17/02 Peter Brook Crap last scene, some clichés, predictable twists. But Clint! It has Clint! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  09-Aug-2002 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  14-Nov-2002




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