Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blood Work (2002)

Synopsis: Retired fed decides to risk his fragile health by playing private investigator without a license, and somehow winds up working on exactly the same case that caused his problem in the first place.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “FBI profiler Terry McCaleb almost always gets to the heart of a case. This time, that heart beats inside him.” 

What Did I Learn?: 1) If you can’t protect the integrity of the system, there is no system. 2) You can always con the local constabulary with a box of donuts. 

Really?: 1) See: “Synopsis.” Leaving aside the incredible coincidences involved, it’s funny how the local cops warn McCaleb against sleuthing without a PI license, and they never act upon it – even though one detective clearly hates his guts. 2) So wait, McCaleb sees a parked car,and then decides to blast it in broad daylight – right in front of a cop – in broad daylight? WTF? 3) Did anyone find the romance between McCaleb and Graciella (Wanda DeJesus) just a little creepy? Eastwood is almost 30 years older, for crying out loud! Wouldn’t Anjelica Houston, who plays his doctor, have been a much more suitable partner? 4) Hold on – the killer goes through all of that trouble to save McCaleb’s life, and all he really wants is to resume the cat-and-mouse dynamic between them, and he suddenly decides to ice his worthy adversary, Graciella and the little boy? That’s not a well-conceived ending. 

Rating: Blood Work is an incredibly contrived, and progressively implausible crime drama that’s enjoyable only if you put your brain on “pause.” Eastwood does his best with the material, and Houston is wasted in a nothing role, but Jeff Daniels does a nice job as McCaleb’s mysterious neighbour. 6.5/10 stars.

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