Proof of Life (2000)
Proof of Life is more an interesting idea than an intelligent or well done thriller. The whole concept of the politics involved in K&R (kidnap and rescue) are duly fascinating. But Proof decides to build a different film around this premise and detours into mediocrity. The film ends with the standard take-down in the jungle I’ve seen many times over except I have the pleasure of seeing David Caruso do it this time.
David Morse is an environmentalist hired by an oil conglomerate to build a dam in a small fictional Ecuador looking country. He gets kidnapped by some radical revolutionaries and is held for ransom. Russel Crowe steps in as the hired K&R expert from Morse’s insurance agency.
The supposed romance on set between Crowe and Ryan is beyond my guess. On screen they have little chemistry and any romance bubbling rates a DOA on Dr. Love’s scale. Meg Ryan betrays herself as an actress and wanders the film minus a bra and constantly sniffling.
During play is a long going friction between Morse, who starts to look like he was auditioning for Cast Away, and some revolutionary hot-headed youth. It’s almost laughable the more it goes on. The will-they-or-won’t-they romance gets snuffed every time we cut back to Ryan’s husband enduring hardships. The editing and the concept ruin whatever sexual tension is supposed to build. The flick also has an unsettling theme that if you aren’t an English speaking white person you can’t be trusted.
The film starts off well with Crowe tangled in Russia but shifts into the mundane rather fast. Proof of Life is proof that what transpires off camera doesn’t always connect on camera.
Nate’s Grade: C+