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Blood Work

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Blood Work

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Anjelica Huston
Director: Clint Eastwood
Rated: R
RunTime: 110 Minutes
Release Date: August 2002
Genre: Suspense

*Also starring: Jeff Daniels, Wanda de Jesus, Tina Lifford, Paul Rodriguez, Dylan Walsh

Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4

In this suspense thriller, 72 year-old Clint Eastwood once again incorporates the indignities of aging into his action-hero character. He's Terrence "Terry" McCaleb, a veteran Southern California FBI agent, who collapses in the opening sequence with a massive coronary after chasing down a homicide suspect. Two years and a new heart transplant later, he's living a quiet life of retirement on his boat moored in San Pedro Harbor, where a beautiful Latina, Graciela Rivers (Wanda De Jesus), confronts him with the fact that he's alive only because her sister was murdered and he was given her heart, adding that her 10 year-old nephew (Mason Lucero) lost his mother to a violent crime - and that the culprit, an elusive serial killer, has never been caught. Despite his physical vulnerability, Terry is still an expert investigator, specializing in profiling, yet no one seems to want him to go back to work on this case - not the local cops (Paul Rodriguez, Dylan Walsh) nor his cardiologist (Anjelica Huston) who repeatedly reminds him about the risk of infection and rejection inherent in his recent transplant which, in itself, was a miracle because of his rare blood type. McCaleb's only supporters seem to be an old FBI friend (Tina Lifford) and a laid-back boat bum buddy (Jeff Daniels) who's delighted to drive him around, claiming they're "Starsky and Putz." Based on Michael Connelly's 1998 novel and adapted by Brian Helgeland, the cop-crime melodrama is directed by Eastwood, using his usual economy which meshes well with the efficient cinematography of Tom Stern, who was Eastwood's chief lighting technician for many years, and Joel Cox's understated editing. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Blood Work" is an edgy if predictable 6, but there's certainly nothing defective about this detective.

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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