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Blood Work (2002)
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Review Date: August 07, 2002
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer: Brian Helgeland
Producers: Clint Eastwood
Actors:
Clint Eastwood
Wanda DeJesus
Jeff Daniels
Plot:
An aging cop with a heart condition finally keels over when chasing a serial killer who liked fucking with his head. Two years after the incident, the detective gets out of the hospital with a new heart and lease on life, until a distressed woman comes knocking on his door for help. The next thing you know, he's back on the trail of yet another murderer. Go ahead...make my metamucil!! A sub-par film ensues.
Critique:
Do you like Clint Eastwood? If you do, then this flick might be worth renting on video, only because the man can still zone all of your attention during any given scene, and some of the detective stuff is interesting to watch. Then again, maybe you're still infatuated with the Clint of old, the man who actually used to choose interesting projects and delve into novel directions. If that's the case, avoid this pitfall at all costs since it might just tarnish the man's memory in your eyes. If you don't like him, well...just keep moving down the line to any of the much better films out this summer, and pretend that this straight-to-video cop "thriller" featuring the big man himself...never happened. Of course, Eastwood is still "the man" even after all of these years, but how about hiring some capable folks around you, dude? (Jeff Daniels excluded) Pretty much everyone from Anjelica Huston (why was she even in this movie...to show us how mucho make-up still can't hide the fact that she ain't aging gracefully?) to Wanda DeJesus (remember that name because you'll never hear it again) to Paul Rodriguez (dude, stick to comedy...your acting chops are the pits) sucked the big furry one here, and none were aided by the fact that most of the dialogue in the flick was wretched (although I did get a kick out of Clint's: "This guy sticks out like a whore in church"). Brian Helgeland, the man behind PAYBACK, A KNIGHT'S TALE and L.A. CONFIDENTIAL...wrote this???

Wow, I guess he was having an "off day" or something, because Rodriguez's character alone was as one-dimensional and annoying as any one character that I've seen in any film this year. Every one of his lines was either an attempt at shitty humor, a Mexican reference or a bitch session about how Clint (the better cop) is dissing him, etc... Dude, what the fuck's up your ass!? Wanda DeJesus' character wasn't incredibly deep either, with much of her picture time consisting of her disappearing into the background as Clint smoked her off the screen. Sadly, the film even attempts an awkward "romance" between the two, which just embarrassed everyone involved-including me (and did she actually utter the words "Show me your heart" right before they kissed? Yipes! Call the script doctor...she's hemorrhaging!) Oh yeah, in case you didn't know, Eastwood's character gets a heart transplant in the movie, so pretty much everything turns into a pun for his heart or for blood. It's hilarious...well...not! What else stinks about the film? Well, this might not be the same for everyone, but I pretty much picked off the killer early on. I didn't know exactly how things were gonna play out as it moved through its various "murder movie" checkpoints, but most of the way, I knew where they were headed, so no major surprises ever slapped me in the face. And if you don't appreciate serial killers who purposely leave mysterious clues for the cops to find...stay even further away from this one.

I did like Clint's detective work stuff though, his usual gruff attitude, mangy manner, and I always "wood up" whenever the man grabs a hold of a shotgun and prepares to blow the nasties away (pun intended?), but there wasn't much more to dig other than that. The directing and editing also seemed a little "off", almost like the filmmakers were forced to finish things up before someone else came in to use the facilities. Which is not to say that the film is short by any means-it actually goes on beyond its due time. Arrrgggh! I started off my review believing that this film might have some merits on video, but now that I've written all this shite out, it seems to be a little worse upon reflection. In fact, it was too long, the dialogue was shoddy, the plotline predictable, the characters lame (other than Eastwood and Daniels), the murderer's motivations laughable and ultimately, not worth your time, unless you're a huge fan of the Man With No Name or dig on humdrum pie. They could actually have named it MURDER BY NUMBERS, but that crappy movie was already released earlier this year, so I guess they went with the whole "blood" angle. Either way, skip this turd and rent UNBREAKABLE instead. The connection? Don't ask...just rent!
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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