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Proof of Life

Proof of Life (2000) starstar

Reviewed 2001-06-23
: The story is about a professional negotiator (Russell Crowe) who is hired by a woman (Meg Ryan) in a fictional Central-American country, to obtain the release of her engineer husband (David Morse). The husband has been Second Look Reviewkidnapped by anti-government guerrillas in South America. But the company he works for, who might have paid his ransom, suddenly goes out of business. After seeing Crowe in his Oscar-winning role as Maximus in Gladiator, I can say he plays the action hero well. There is a smattering of chemistry between Crowe and the distraught wife, played against her (usually) too-cute-for-words type by Ryan. And having the hostage husband (Morse) take an assertive part in his own rescue, was a welcome change from the usual prescription for a hostage-rescue movie. I liked Proof of Life, though some of its detractors will resist it on the grounds of the notorious affair between the leads. If we're going to demand a strict code of behavior out of our movie stars, however, we're going to be seeing a lot fewer movies! And my only cavil with the genre is that it appears to be politically incorrect now to name a real Latin-American country when making a movie about guerilla kidnappers.

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Ronald Bruce Meyer is a freelance reviewer.