Blood Work

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Review byMatthew Turner3/01/2003

One out of Five stars
Running time: 110 mins

Utterly ludicrous, unintentionally laughable film with blindingly obvious twists, a pathetic climax and a shudder-inducing love scene that will put you off your popcorn.

It’s fair to say that Clint Eastwood’s directorial career has never really recaptured the heights of his Oscar-winning western Unforgiven. These days he seems content to just churn out formulaic rubbish such as Absolute Power or True Crime, although Space Cowboys (aka ‘Grumpy Old Men In Space’) had its moments.

Sadly, Blood Work represents a new low – it’s badly made, the plot is ridiculous and what’s more, it confirms that Clint, like Woody Allen is now much too old for love scenes of any kind.

Clint plays Terry McCaleb, an FBI profiler on the case of the notorious ‘Code Killer’. While chasing the eponymous killer, he has a near-fatal heart attack, which puts him out of the police game.

Shatner Style Stunts

However, two years later, he is recovering from the heart transplant operation that saved his life, happily hanging out on his boat, passing the time with loopy neighbour Jeff Daniels and following the advice of his doctor (Angelica Huston, though she needn’t have bothered) to “not do anything strenuous like solving mysteries or chasing killers and stuff”. That is until A Beautiful Woman (Wanda De Jesus) turns up and asks him to solve the murder of her sister. Why? Because her heart “beats within him”, that’s why. Oh yes.

The film gets off to an extremely bad start, with stunt work of Shatneresque awfulness. One minute Clint is running along, chasing the bad guy, huffing and puffing as befits a 70 something year old man (generously, the script bumps him down to 60).

The killer jumps over a wire fence and seconds later an over-zealous, obviously Not Clint stuntman hurls himself over the fence and lands, seemingly face down behind a dumpster, from which Clint instantly emerges to give chase again, as if rocket-fuelled. You can practically see him waiting behind the dumpster.

Worse Still!

It gets worse. For one thing every woman Clint meets (and to be fair to the film, there are a lot of decent women’s roles) seems to have a huge crush on him. Although that still doesn’t prepare you for the sheer horror of his ‘shirt off’ love scene with Wanda De Jesus, in which she lovingly caresses his leathery, sagging chest before kissing his heart transplant scar.

If you’re unlucky enough to see the film, shut your eyes the moment he takes his shirt off and listen to the moans of discomfort in the audience instead.

It would be unfair to reveal too much more of the plot, but the identity of the killer should be immediately obvious to anyone who’s ever seen, well, a movie. Also, the so-called ‘code’ that has been bothering Clint for around five years, gets solved in two seconds flat by a little kid.

Oh, and there’s also a bizarre scene in which Clint takes a shotgun to a strange car, just because he’s seen it once before. In other words, not content with the levels of ridiculousness already present in the story, the film keeps piling it on till you can’t take any more.

In short, this is for die-hard Clint completists only, although there are several unintentional laughs to be had along the way if you’re a fan of Very Bad Movies. Still, even the afore-mentioned Clint completists are probably better off waiting for the video.

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Blood Work
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Content updated: 26/02/2020 00:34

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