As the film opens on an Oklahoma farm during the depression, two simultaneous visitors literally hit the Wagoneer home: a ruinous dust storm and a convertible crazily driven by Red, the ... See full summary »
Retired FBI profiler Terry McCaleb (Eastwood), who has recently had a heart transplant, is hired by Graciela Rivers (De Jesus), to investigate the death of her sister, Gloria, who happens to have given McCaleb his heart. On the case, he soon deduces that the killer, who staged the murder to look like a random robbery, may actually be a serial killer Terry was trailing for years in the FBI. Can the elderly and feeble McCaleb, who had intended to spend his retirement living on his boat in the Los Angeles harbor, and who can't drive, and has to nap regularly, muster up the endurance to find the killer? Written by
Amir Al-Kourainy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A behind-the-scenes making-of promotional documentary for this movie was made for television. Entitled Making 'Blood Work' (2002), it is available on the DVD. However, the short doc reveals by use of scene clips the whodunit identity of the film's serial killer. See more »
One of the detectives calls the Stanford University team the "Cardinals". They are actually the "Cardinal" (color not bird). See more »
[referring to McCaleb at crime scene]
Okay, listen. Whatever happens, it'll his face on the front page.
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'Blood Work' sees actor/director Clint Eastwood ease into a more traditional, mature and work-heavy detective story based upon Michael Connelly's novel. We follow that of FBI profiler Terry McCaleb on the trail of a serial killer who likes to play games with him, before his heart eventually gives up on him during a chase. He's a cardiac patient that receives a heart from a murder victim, and the donor's sister asks him to come out of retirement (which is two years after the heart-attack) to use that second chance to help find her killer.
After an excellently dark, brooding opening it goes onto settle for a cruising old-fashion, but by-the-numbers thriller. It's the eerie mystery that invokes the tension, not the small-added slabs of violence and action. It's a character story. Nothing surprises, but its elaborated make-up and cluey puzzles are absorbingly plotted by Brian Helgeland's elegantly dry screenplay, as we watch the psychical and mental decay first break down, but eventually go on to help rebuild our main protagonist. Mainly through his bond with the lady he's helping out. Even a connection is kind of hinted between the killer and Eastwood's ex-profiler like the one in 'Tightrope' (1984). The relationship that unfolds and expectations that arose, especially after the killer's unmasking and his cunning intentions being revealed is unnerving in that endearing sense. The psychological torment and involvement is well-judged too. This observation can be seen in Eastwood's rock-like performance, which still shows cracks of vulnerability.
Looking comfortable in front of the camera, behind is exactly the same with his economical direction driving the way. Edgy suspense is well-place and timed amongst a gritty backdrop and dreary colour scheme. Lennie Niehaus' soothingly savoury blues score, Tom Stern's sharply pastel cinematography and Joel Cox's swift editing strengthen the already professionally competent production. First-rate performances engulf the feature. Wanda De Jesus strong-willed turn is amiable. Jeff Daniel's lazy; oddball (almost comic) performance is a fine, versatile addition. A cynical Paul Rodriguez and a solid Dylan Walsh are good as two jealous detectives. Tina Lafford is pleasingly sound as a detective/good friend of McCaleb and Anjelica Huston is fiery blunt as Dr. Bonnie Fox.
A satisfyingly better than average thriller fable headed by the ever-reliable Eastwood.
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