There seems to be one main trouble or critique of movies assigned the genre of thriller and that is everyone has come to expect to be blown away instead of just kept on edge. Being kept on edge is one thing Blood does fairly well. With a cast that could be considered very enviable by many directors, Blood is solid from the very beginning.
The story adapted from the writers (Bill Gallagher) mini-series called Conviction, is the story of two brothers (Paul Bettany and Stephen Graham) whose father (Brian Cox) is a well respected former police officer with Alzheimer’s disease. Joe (Bettany) is dealing with the angst of a former case, his father’s illness and a marriage on the rocks. With all this he feels the need to watch over is baby brother Chrissie (Graham). When the two are assigned the case of a murdered young girl they soon find themselves at the killers footsteps and intend on taking care of him themselves. After they execute the suspect they are then assigned to the case of his death and finding what happened to him. With all the elements pouring down on Joe and his conscience attacking Chrissie, the two come to the brink of cracking under the pressure.
Paul Bettany has become one of those actors that every time he appears in a film I find myself asking, “why isn’t he a bigger star” and “why doesn’t he do more”? He first came to the attention of most movie goers in Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind where he met his now wife, Jennifer Connolly. His performance in this film is exactly one of the reasons I ask myself those questions. The angst his character goes through all throughout the film can almost be felt.
Not to be outdone is Stephen Graham whose weaknesses and inability to come out from under the shadow of his father and older brother comes through exactly as it should.
This is by no means a perfect film and this may be one of those cases where a British film just feels so much better made than it would have been in the hands of mainstream, traditional Hollywood. Many times when Hollywood gets ahold of anything decent out of the UK the tendency is to over do it with effects and sometimes not the best of acting.
Blood has the good aspects of a quality thriller. With some intensity and wonder of just might happen next it definitely leaves the viewer engaged throughout. With sharp writing and very good acting it is well worth the price of admission.