Blood Work (2002)

(In theaters, August 2002) I’m getting too good at this thriller shtick. Barely a few minutes in the film, I pegged the “secret killer” at the character’s oh-so-innocuous first scene. The rest of the film didn’t hold many other surprises; the procedural details are fascinating, but any sagacious viewer will be ahead of the lead protagonist by minutes. Clint Eastwood is always interesting enough to watch, but here he overdoes the “labored breathing” act. (It doesn’t help that his casting destroys most of the story’s initial dynamics. Here, we’re more concerned about him breaking his hip falling down than popping a blood vessel in his transplanted heart.) Some of the supporting actors are fine (Wanda de Jesùs! Fiiine!), but others seem to be there only to overact. Clichés abound, culminating -of course- in the climactic shootout. Plus you have to stomach both a series of awful “deep and meaningful” double-entendres about blood, hearts and such, but also a romantic scene between Eastwood and someone still thirty years away from retirement age. There are enough good things in Blood Work to keep you interested, but too many bad things about it to keep you from seeing it in the first place. You might as well wait until it plays on TV.

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