Blood Work (2002)

blood work poster 2002 movie clint eastwood
4.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Eastwood is fine

Dumb mystery with unrealistic path, Daniels and Rodriguez

Movie Info

Movie Name: Blood Work

Studio:  Malpaso Productions

Genre(s): Mystery/Suspense/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): August 6, 2002 (Premiere)/August 9, 2002 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

blood work clint eastwood heart attack

I would have preferred this whole movie be a fevered dream as Eastwood dies from a heart attack at the beginning…it would make more sense

Terry McCaleb (Clint Eastwood) is an FBI profile working on a serial killer case when he suffers a massive heart attack in pursuit of the criminal.  Time has passed, Terry is retired and he is the healthy recipient of a new heart.  When Graciella Rivers (Wanda De Jesús) comes to him with the revelation that her sister’s heart is in him, Terry finds himself pulled into the investigation of her murder, and Terry is risking his own health in the race to take down a killer.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, Blood Work is a police action-mystery thriller.  The film is an adaptation of the 1997 Michael Connelly novel.  It was released to mixed reviews and a relatively low box-office return.

Clint Eastwood was known for his no-nonsense cop movies.  Around the time of Unforgiven, he really switched into an aged Eastwood that often took on projects that involved different characters and different storylines.  Blood Work is the last “angry cop” movie that Eastwood has done.  Due to the storyline of the film, a ******spoiler alert****** for the rest of the review.

blood work clint eastwood paul rodriguez tina lifford dylan walsh

Guys, we need to be all on the same page…like literally. I think we’re all doing a different movie

The story for Blood Work is ridiculous to the point of being laughable.  You have a serial killer obsessed with Eastwood and so obsessed that he moves into next to him, gets ahold of a list of blood donors who have the same rare blood type, tracks the blood donors, and kills them so Terry can get a heart and track him again.  The big flaw in that is that the only reason Terry gets involved in that the sister of the heart donor finds his name, seeks him out, and convinces him to look…I supposed that the murderer could have just started killing again to taunt him, but there was no guarantee that he’d return to investigate.  It of course devolves into an unrealistic romance and a rather bland unsatisfying showdown.

The acting is all over the place.  Eastwood is fine playing the Eastwood character with the grizzled Eastwood voice, and Wanda De Jesús is also ok as the sister.  Everyone else feels like a parody with them constantly yelling “McCALEB!!!”.  From Anjelica Huston as the doctor to Tina Lifford as his good former partner, they are rather one-dimensional characters.  The worst casted characters have to be Paul Rodriguez who seems to think he’s doing a comedy, and Jeff Daniels who also brings his Dumber and Dumber to the killer…it almost feels like a pale imitation of his former costar Dennis Hopper in Speed.

blood work clint eastwood ending

Go ahead make my day…but do it quick, I already missed the Early Bird

The movie looks fine.  It soaks up the Southern California sun and doesn’t provide anything special.  Eastwood is too old for big stunts and therefor the ending shootout on the derelict ship has no energy…like a lot of the film.

Blood Work is a mystery that gives too many clues and tries to make the viewer feel really clever by solving the clues way before the FBI trained investigator does.  It is a rather poor last outing for Eastwood’s action-star type tough guy film though he has continued to play the grizzled angry man since.  The Terry McCaleb character did appear again however in other Connelly novels.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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