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George At 

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Blood Work

I keep hearing that I need to read Michael Connelly books, but if all of his mysteries are as easy to figure out as 2002's BLOODWORK, I'm going to need more convincing.

Clint Eastwood plays retired FBI profiler Terry McCaleb. It's two years after a heart attack and two months after his heart transplant surgery when the serial killer he was chasing reemerges.

To complicate matters, the sister of the killer's last victim Gracialla (Wanda De Jesus) approaches him and tells him that Terry is carrying around her heart. He received it the day she was murdered.

McCaleb is drawn back into the case and the deeper he digs, the more targeted the last two murders appear to be.

Eastwood is reliably good in the role, willing to look tired and battling for every ounce of strength.

But most of his supporting cast is pretty bad.

Angelica Huston is one-note as his heart surgeon, Dylan Walsh is wasted as a detective and comedian Paul Rodriquez is horrible as another detective. He's not a good actor and plays every scene like he's in a slapstick comedy. It's really embarrassing.

Jeff Daniels fares better as a beach bum two boats down from the boat Terry lives on in Southern California.

But here's the problem.

I figured out the big twist of the killer's identity about an hour in. The hardest clue is presented on the level of a third grade word jumble.

Screenwriter Brian Helgeland (LA Confidential, Man on Fire) is typically great, but he seems on cruise control here.

Helgeland and Eastwood would reunite the following year for "Mystic River".

This was Eastwood's last film as a detective and he gets in some decent action scenes, including a pump shotgun standoff against a suspicious car and the opening chase scene.

By the end resolve, BLOODWORK emerges as middle-of-the-road Eastwood, but still entertaining as Eastwood begins to explore an aging character study, something many of his fellow actors refused to do.

It turns out that the results of this BLOODWORK aren't nearly as interesting as they try to be, earning a C+.

Rodriguez is just horrible. He never appeared in a big budget film again. Unless you count 2008's "Beverly Hills Chihuahua"....I don't.

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