Some films were made for TV. Directed by Nick Murphy (The Awakening), Blood stars Paul Bettany and Stephen Graham as police officers struggling to maintain their sense of morality while investigating a ghastly murder case. The cast is starrier than your typical Sunday night drama series, with Brian Cox lending extra weight to the role of Joe and Chrissie’s father, portraying ex-policeman Lenny.
A young girl is discovered murdered, and local convicted paedophile Jason Buleigh (Ben Crompton) is the likeliest of suspects. Things get out of control when Joe and Chrissie take matters into their own hands, threatening to destroy everything and everyone they care about. Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire, Snatch) is outstanding as always, and Mark Strong makes his presence felt in a much smaller role, but nothing deters from the fact that Blood is based on Bill Gallagher’s 2004 TV series Conviction.
It’s a tidy little thriller that would have fared better as a two-part television adaptation, rather than a low-key, unexceptional movie release. The cast are on hand to elevate matters but there’s nothing else that makes it stand out from the crowd. The plot is fairly predictable, the visuals are moody and the characters are all too familiar. A strong cast will get you so far but Blood should have stayed on the small screen where it belongs. Wounded. AW