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Blood Work (2002)

The key to catching a killer is only a heartbeat away.

Directed by:

Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 110 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

Clint Eastwood stars as retired FBI man Terry McCaleb, who had suffered a massive heart attack just as he was about catch the crazed serial killer he was chasing. Now two years later, with a new heart after a transplant, he has put detective work behind him and is recovering well having retired to his boat. However, a mystery comes looking for him in the shape of Graciella Rivers (Wanda de Jesus). She wants McCaleb to look into the death of her sister, who was shot apparently randomly during a shop robbery.

Although reluctant to get involved, McCaleb is convinced to see what he can find out when he discovers that he was given the dead woman’s heart in his operation. Against the advice of his doctor (Angelica Huston), he begins to pursue the case more seriously, with the help of Buddy Noone (Jeff Daniels) who owns a neighbouring boat and is keen to be a detective. It starts to become clear that the killing may not have been so coincidental after all, and that the killer may even be the same one McCaleb had been pursuing two years earlier. He will have to look back to earlier clues and connect them to some later ones if he is to catch the killer he has wanted for so long.

The film starts out as a fairly atmospheric and stylish thriller, let down by the fact that some of the clues are overemphasised so that the likely suspect becomes obvious rather early on. However, the interesting story concept is still enough to hold one’s attention. Sadly, it all rather comes apart at the end with its Hollywood ending, which was ill-advisedly changed from the ending of the bestselling book. Clint Eastwood makes some impact onscreen, wisely choosing a role that suits his age and demeanor, although the other big names in the film don’t really get much chance to shine.

Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Michael Connelly.

It's Got: Clint Eastwood, who is still good to watch.

It Needs: A less predictable story and a much better ending.

DVD Extras The conversation in Spanish is actually not all in Spanish but nonetheless offers an interesting insight into the characters in the film. Extras: Making of, Conversation in Spanish with Clint Eastwood, Wanda de Jesus and Paul Rodriguez, Cast and crew, Theatrical trailer, Teaser trailer. DVD Extras Rating: 5/10

Alternatives:

Se7en, Silence of the Lambs, The Bone Collector.

Summary

Rather predictable serial-killer thriller with a substandard ending. One for Clint’s fans.

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