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Blood Work
2002 - R - 111 Mins.
Director: Clint Eastwood
Producer: Clint Eastwood
Written By: Brian Helgeland
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Daniels, Anjelica Huston, Wanda De Jesus, Tina Lifford
Review by: David Trier
It’s as if they made a feature film of Murder She Wrote and Clint Eastwood reprised Angela Lansbury’s classic role.

When FBI profiler Terry McCaleb (Clint Eastwood) literally chases down a serial killer, his heart quits at an inopportune moment. Good thing when it comes time for a transplant that a spare heart is hanging about. But no good deed goes unpunished and just when he starts preparing for a life of daytime naps, reading, and sexual abstinence, somebody needs a favor. Geesh! The heart donor apparently didn’t rip it out Temple-of-Doom-style and fork it over. It seems the donor was murdered at a most (in)convenient time and her sister Graciela Rivers (Wanda De Jesus) thinks McCaleb should solve the crime. After all, if her sister hadn’t been killed, he’d be dead. McCaleb soon figures out that this killer may be the serial killer that started it all anyway. So he takes the case, despite his doctor’s (Anjelica Huston) vehement disapproval. Since he can’t drive or physically exert himself, he employs his bummed out neighbor, Buddy (Jeff Daniels) to help him out. Oh and Paul Rodriguez plays a cop that periodically shows up for comic relief.

There is only one Clint Eastwood and despite the fact that he really isn’t much of an actor, he’s still deserved of our affection. I don’t know why exactly, but it’s just nice to watch Clint Eastwood, even at the ripe age of 142. It’s as if his face was scientifically constructed to pick up optimal movie lighting. And most of the rest of the cast does an acceptable job, although few of the characters have any dimensions. Anjelica Huston is always a pleasure to watch, and her character is by far the most intriguing, which makes the briefness of her role disappointing. I’m sure Wanda de Jesus is a nice person, but she’s not very believable, coming off waaaay too soap opera-y. This is exacerbated by the fact that her convoluted sister character is not very appealing. Who does she think she is pressuring this old man into solving her sister’s murder? Why doesn’t she just do it herself? Go to a library. Do some research. Disguise herself as a prostitute and ask inner city drug dealers for clues.

Eastwood has directed a few good films, a few mediocre ones and a few bad ones. This one is lands in the middle. If it were on television, it would be mildly impressive. Wow, they sure did a lot with this tv movie, didn’t they? But as a feature film, it just doesn’t have any pizzazz. Yes, there are four z’s in pizzazz. A lot of people don’t know that.

I won’t ruin the ending for you, but suffice it to say any idiot should be able to figure out the killer by the middle of the movie. It’s the character you think of after you briefly consider some preliminaries. It’s like on Law & Order, you know there’s no way the killer could be one of the first people the cops interrogate, but in this case, there really aren’t that many to choose from and it all seems kind of arbitrary anyway. Oh, he’s the killer. OK, fine.
Movie Guru Rating
Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better. Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better.
  2 out of 5 stars

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