When people think of action heroes, Clint Eastwood is a name that immediately comes to mind. Although older and wiser and over seventy, he can still intimidate the best of them. Which is why Bloodwork, based on the novel by Michael Connelly, is different from the typical murder mystery. Eastwood (Space Cowboys, True Crime) is Terry McCaleb, a high profile FBI profiler, recently ensnared in a vicious cat and mouse game with a serial killer. This killer is taunting McCaleb with messages at the crime scene. At one point, McCaleb has a heart attack while chasing down the suspect. Bloodwork picks up two years later. McCaleb, now retired, recently received a heart transplant, and is slowly putting his life back together. He is more than happy to spend his retirement on his boat, taunting his neighbor Buddy (Jeff Daniels, Cheaters, The Crossing).

Things change dramatically when a woman named Graciella Rivers (Wanda de Jesus, Ghosts of Mars, Flawless) seeks him out. Rivers' sister was the victim of a murder, and she feels that the police are not doing their best on the case. She wants McCaleb to look into the case. The kicker (or ticker?) is that McCaleb now has the heart of Rivers' sister, so he feels obligated to help solve her murder. After all, he is alive because she died. He begins to investigate on his own, much to the vehement dismay of his physician (Anjelica Huston, The Royal Tennenbaums, The Golden Bowl) and the annoyance of some police officers. They feel that McCaleb is a glory hound and wants to steal the spotlight away from them. There are three of them, but the only one that makes an impression is Paul Rodriguez (Ali, Rat Race) because Brian Hegleland's (A Knight's Tale, Payback) makes his complaining so amusing.

McCaleb quickly figures out what the police already knew, that this was not an isolated murder. Now he is chasing somebody who killed at least two people. As a director, Eastwood paced out the story, meticulously laying out facts and having McCaleb track them down. Bloodwork moves a little slowly at times, also because of the McCaleb character, handicapped due to his recent surgery. Eastwood looks genuinely like he is about to fall over at any minute. Partway through Bloodwork, things begin to unravel. This is because of the mundane nature of the script. The clues lead to only one place, and most people can guess where that place is long before the end. Worse is how Eastwood transforms a thoughtful investigation into a typical action movie with chase scenes and gun battles. Compared to the first part of the film, the last part seems to be a completely different movie.

Haro Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 51 minutes, Rated R for violence and language.

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