Blood Work
Warner Bros. // R // August 9, 2002
Review by Geoffrey Kleinman | posted August 7, 2002
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To say anything about the story of Blood Work would be to 'ruin it', because there are so few twists and turns and so little suspense, what little 'surprise' there could possibly be for this film could easily be squelched by watching the trailer or hearing a brief synopsis.

From the get go, I felt like I was at least four or five steps ahead of the main character, a fatal flaw for a gum shoe film. Many of the 'clues' unearthed are so painstakingly obvious, it's frustrating to watch just how long it takes for the characters to figure it out.

Blood Work is a mystery with very little mystery and very little action. In the almost two hours of film there are maybe three scenes where anything really happens. Much of the film is spent following Clint Eastwood as he collects clues between doctors appointments and watching as everyone keeps commenting on how bad he looks. It's really hard for me to remember a more painfully predictable movie.

It's surprising to me just how bland Blood Work is, especially when you consider that it was Directed and Stars Clint Eastwood and is penned by Brian Helgeland (LA Confidential, A Knights Tale). I expected something sharper from the paring. That's not to say that Clint Eastwood was bad, although the story is extremely lacking there's no denying that Eastwood still has a fantastic screen presence with his 'take no flack' gravely voice. There's just no meat on the bones of this film, and it leaves you with the strong sense that some great talent was wasted.

In general most of the lead and supporting actors give strong performances. Aside from Eastwood and his decent effort, I also liked Wanda De Jesus as the female lead and Tina Lifford as and old time cop friend. I was less thrilled with Jeff Daniels who was horribly miscast and never seemed to find a foothold with his role. Of special note is the extremely poorly written and very poor acting job for Paul Rodriguez, he sticks out like a sore thumb in a truly dismal performance.

Final Thoughts
In the end Blood Work is just no fun, it's so amazingly predictable, and it moves at a snails pace. Much of the move is focused around Clint Eastwood's characters poor health, and I loss count of how many scenes revolve around him dealing with his medical condition. When a mystery loses all its mystery it's painful and boring, when it's done with such talented people it's a tragedy.



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