Projections - Movie Reviews

Proof of Life Proof of Life

Proof of Life director Taylor Hackford treats his audience to an opening ten minutes that could well have been found in any Bond or Mission Impossible film.  It is unfortunate that this is all the film has to offer.

The combination of romance, intrigue and action never seem to find balance; there seems to be an awkward need to keep both Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe in every scene.  You can't fault the actors, but you can find serious flaws with the entire film.

Proof of Life revolves around a hostage negotiator named Terry Thorne who works for a risk management firm.  After a difficult transaction to rescue a hostage he had been charged with the duty of securing (the best part of the film) Thorne is dispatched to save a U.S. citizen captured and being ransomed by a South American guerrilla force / drug cartel.  Soon it is discovered that his firm does not have a contract to assist in this matter and Thorne is recalled to England.

David Morse does a superb job portraying hostage Peter Burman and provides what are the most intriguing and compelling scenes of the movie.  Meg Ryan as Burman's wife Alice does the best she can with a role that lacks character definition and a script that that allows this powerful actress to deliver the role she is capable of.  The real problem here are the many, and I do mean many, sub plots - none of which play out to satisfaction.

You may notice a face that has been missing from the big and small screen for quite a while.  That is the face of David Caruso.  His role is one similar to Crowe, but played with a much more mercenary flair.  This should help him in the future.

Summarizing, Proof of Life is a “wanna be” film: it wants to be an action film, it wants to be a drama and it wants to be a love story; what it turns into is a failure.

Proof of Life

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