Clint Eastwood's BLOOD WORK is a satisfying and engaging thriller,
even if it does take you down the memory lane of previous serial killer
scripts. As actor, star and producer, Eastwood demonstrates his usual
supply of limitless creative energy as he mesmerizes the audience.
As retired FBI agent Terrell McCaleb (Eastwood) tries to piece together
the slender facts about a serial killer known as the "code killer,"
your mind will be working in overdrive, too, trying to guess the "who"
and "why" of the case. Although the film has a few too many predictable
moments, McCaleb is such a likeable ex-cop that you'll forgive him
any sense you have of déjà vu.
McCaleb, who has recently undergone a heart transplant, is asked to
play detective one last time by Graciela Rivers (Wanda De Jesus).
It seems that Graciela's sister was murdered and her sister's heart
now beats in McCaleb's chest. Over the furious objection of his doctor
(Anjelica Huston), McCaleb agrees to try to find the killer, something
the police department has had no lucking in accomplishing.
Having trouble breathing and with his temperature rising, McCaleb
is certainly no Dirty Harry. Because of this, he asks his "boat bum"
neighbor, Buddy Noone (Jeff Daniels), to be his paid driver as he
searches for evidence. The boats where they live are nearby. Buddy
thinks his first job in ages is a hoot and likes to refer to them
as "Starsky and Putz." But all McCaleb will permit Buddy to do is drive.
The dialog is sometimes funny, especially when McCaleb is sparring
with the cops he used to work with. Needless to say, he no longer
gets the respect that he did when he worked for the Bureau. Paul
Rodriguez turns in the best supporting performance as a smart-mouth
detective who resents McCaleb's involvement in the investigation.
I have only one quibble with this very entertaining film. Why don't
movie cops ever yell out, "Stop or I'll shoot," and then just shoot
when the criminal doesn't stop?
BLOOD WORK runs 1:40. It is rated R for "violence and language" and
would be acceptable for teenagers.
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes