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Blood Work (15)



Review by: Katherine Kaminsky | Rating: One

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Making of; A Conversation in Spanish with Clint Eastwood, Wands De Jesús and Paul Rodriguez; Trailer.

CLINT Eastwood has produced 18 films, directed 23 films and starred in 44 films. I doubt Blood Work will be the triumph of those achievements.

Terry McCaleb (Eastwood) is a celebrity FBI agent, a press hero catching the bad guys. While chasing his latest case, a psychopath dubbed by the tabloids as ‘the Code Killer’ (due to him leaving coded messages at the murder scene), McCaleb suffers a heart attack.

Two years and one heart transplant later, the retired McCaleb is being carefully monitored by Dr Bonnie Fox (Angelica Huston) when he is approached by Graciella (Wanda De Jesus). She persuades him to become involved in an unsolved murder personal to them both.

Helped by neighbour, Buddy Noone (Jeff Daniels), and reluctantly by former colleague, Detective Jaye Winston (Tina Lifford), McCaleb comes out of retirement to solve the murder, igniting a fresh killing spree by the still at large ‘Code Killer’.

This suspense thriller, directed and produced by Eastwood and based on the novel by Michael Connelly, starts as a promising plot line, but deteriorates all too quickly as it clumsily lays out clue after clue until you suspect you are being fed a red herring. You’re not!

Eastwood whispers his way through the film, creating little suspense or tension, while Huston makes only a brief appearance, and is memorable for wearing more eyeliner than any doctor I’ve ever seen.

The saving graces are Wanda De Jesus and Tina Lifford. The real problem is with the casting of the psycho. Although a competent actor, perhaps his features are too strong.

If you don’t get it from the balaclava scene, then you will from the bit where he sports fake facial hair, which does nothing to disguise who he is.

However, top cop McCaleb still does not figure it out. In fact, it takes a small boy, surprise surprise, the late victim’ 10-year-old son, to decipher the ‘Killer’s Code’, providing the only believable moment in the entire film.

This, peppered with two cops (Paul Rodriguez and Dylan Walsh), contributing an unamusing comic double act, leaves Blood Work hard bloody work to recommend.

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