Movie Reviews
3:59 pm
Sat August 10, 2002

Blood Work

There's a moment when I hoped for a memorable line, but it left without a trace.

In "Blood Work," Clint Eastwood's retired FBI profiler has a new heart from a woman whose murderer he is determined to find. While it is painful to watch an aging Eastwood worry about his heart throughout the film, it is comforting to know his symbolic heart is in great shape as he wins the love of a woman almost half his age.

There's a moment when I hoped for a memorable line, but it left without a trace. Leaving traces all over, however, are clues to the identity and motive of the serial killer, clues too soon and too obvious. Although Eastwood exudes watchable star power, his plot is too derivative and formulaic to be taken seriously.

Eastwood is a superior director-he just needs to revive the originality he had in "Tightrope" or "Play Misty for Me." In "Blood Work" he has some of the old magic, such as when his hero talks about a profiler's ability to draw connections. In this film, the heart and blood connections and the connection between victim, murderer, and investigator are inventive motifs lost in the conventions of a genre needing revival, a genre Eastwood, as Dirty Harry, helped formulate.

"Blood Work" is Clint Eastwood's 23rd film as director and 44th as star. He said, "It's a detective story and a human relationship story." Adapted from Michael Connelly's popular novel, it will not rank as one of Clint's best--just a serviceable thriller like his revolver.