by Jake Sproul
Rating: (out of )
I have never really been a fan of Clint Eastwood. I canít say that I have seen many of his films. So with none of his previous efforts to judge Blood Work on, judging from the overall genre of thriller, Blood Work neither disappoints nor impresses. The impression that Blood Work gave me was a pleasant one. I did enjoy the film. However, after I put some thought into it, I found it to be lacking real depth and intelligence.
Clint Eastwood plays Terry McCaleb, the FBIís top profiler. During a pursuit of a suspected serial killer, Terry suffers a major heart attack. Jump 2 years later, Terry has a new heart, and spends his time in retirement working on his boat rather than catching killers. That all changes when Garciella Rivers confronts Terry and asks him to help solve the murder of her sister. She convinces him out of retirement by proving to Terry that it is her sisterís heart, which now resides in Terry.
During their partnership, Terry and Garciella connect and a relationship begins to develop. This was a very hard pill for me to swallow, and one of the biggest problems that plagues Blood Work. There is only one 65 and older male actor who can have relations in a film with an under 30 actress, and thatís Woody Allen. And even Woody had trouble convincing me with his relationships with Debra Messing and Tea Leoni in his most recent film, Hollywood Ending. But that's a different story.
Anyone who sees Blood Work will concede that the plot is a very likable one, a fun little mystery. However, the mystery is lacking in thought. Blood Work, which is supposed to be a smart personís diversion from the currently teen oriented box office, clearly spells out everything that is going on. That prevents any real thinking. The clues that the movie provides for us are so obvious that there is no question if this thing will be of importance, but when.
Instead of being the back-to-basics thriller that it should have been, Blood Work tailspins into cliches and stereotypes. This is most obvious in the idiocy of the police. Why is it necessary for all the police involved in an investigation to be total morons? And also with the disapproving doctor.
There is no real character development present in Blood Work. Clint Eastwood plays his usual tough as nails bad ass character. Which is fine, but the since all the character development of Clintís usual character has already been done in earlier films, it makes it tough to care about Terry. Even when his life is in danger, I know I found myself not really interested in Terry.
Blood Work has some very suspenseful scenes, and they are very well executed. Youíve got to hand it to Clint Eastwood; he sure does know what he is doing when it comes to such action. Nobody totes a gun better than Clint Eastwood.
I am sorry to say that the final climax of the movie is a poor example of Clint Eastwoodís action scenes. It is too short to draw any real sense of suspense. The anticlimactic ending left a taste in my mouth after leaving, not soon forgotten.
Blood Work is well acted and cast. Heading up the billing is Clint Eastwood himself. His character is one seen before, but even if Clintís persona is well worn, it is truly entertaining. You have it hand it to anyone who casts Anjelica Huston, she is one of my favorite actresses, and I have yet to see her turn in a bad performance. Jeff Daniels plays his usual ďtypical guy,Ē which is just what this role required. As for the women by Clintís side, Wanda De Jesus plays Garciella well, but more importantly, she plays her role believably, and Tina Lifford takes on the role of Jaye Winston, a former partner and friend of Terryís, and her performance is warm.
Donít get me wrong, Blood Work is entertaining, and acted well. However, it just doesnít cut it for me. Everything in Blood Work is spelled out for me, and it takes the fun out of it. It is like watching the Super Bowl but you already know who is going to win. If you like adult entertainment (in the non-sexual sense of the phrase), but also enjoy turning your brain off (and donít mind cliches), I will recommend Blood Work to you. But for everyone else, I just canít give Blood Work my stamp of approval.
© 2002 Jake Sproul