Getting a little K & R
Proof of Life
Review by Ross Anthony

An expert in K&R (Kidnap and Ransom), Russell Crowe endeavors to rescue a disconcerted woman's husband down in South America. Despite complications to this mission, Crowe is magnificently steadfast. Ryan, however, seems uncomfortable in her role as the hippie housewife, even more comfortless is Pamela Reed as the victim's sister.

No fault of Crowe's, following a compelling 10-minute opening/introduction to his line of work; a full fifty-minute lull abducts all but one moment of spectacle from film. Until surprisingly, it's the smallest of lines, "Okie dokie," that wakes me from my glossy daze. Another 10 minutes of commanding film from there, and again, the production eventually slides into messy back-and-forth dialogue with Ryan. "Who do you care about?" she shouts accusingly at the guy who has obviously come to her rescue.

A room full of thugs draw their weapons and yet, civilians Ryan and Reed, stand up and shout at them. I don't find that too realistic, even the strongest willed of citizens would shut up at the sight of a gun and hit the floor!

Then the story takes a short dip into uncharacteristic melodrama that sticks out like a sore thumb. Pausing from the normal serious dialogue and sparsely interjected action; Meg and hubby David Morse, though miles apart, express their longing for each other during a series of back to back dissolves. It did not work for me.

At the end of the day (that's an Aussie phrase), Crowe's commanding performance stands out too strongly against the backdrop of this awkwardly paced, off balance production.

  • Proof of Life. Copyright © 2000. Rated R.
  • Starring Meg Ryan, Russell Crowe, David Morse, Pamela Reed, David Caruso, Anthony Heald, Stanley Anderson.
  • Directed by Taylor Hackford.
  • Written by Tony Gilroy.
  • Produced by Taylor Hackford and Charles Mulvehill at Warner Bros/Castle Rock/Bel-Air.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:00:45 PDT