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Proof of Life is definitely not an ad campaign for South American Tourism- that's for sure. I am crossing that whole continent right off my dream vacation atlas. POF takes place in Tecala (a Latin word meaning; corrupt), but the film was shot on location in Ecuador-beautiful mountains or not, I suggest you check w/ The Travel Channel before you head into what can only be called- purgatory on Earth!

I already admired Meg Ryan , but I have an even stronger respect toward her for heading to that frightening no man's land to shoot this film. What a tough chick babe! She's proving she's not just some pretty perky dingledoodle cranking out fluff films for girls night out ( though we love those). Of course if you dig her you probably ventured out to see Ms. Innocent play a prostitute in her totally underrated performance in Hurly Burly. She's actually a very versatile actress- swear.

Now lets talk Angus Brand man beef, eh? Russell Crowe. He's Meggie's costar (along with dynamic David Morse) in POF. But you knew that already right? Yeah, the whole Hollywood scandal turned love affair- whateva. The guys sweet on the retina and super swell at his acting gigs. Who cares where he's hiding his platypus these days, he's one of America's best imports and quite frankly it doesn't do a thing to his appeal. Sex crazed Crowe fans will be in heaven as the bloke finally speaks in his native accent. Could he be sexier? Ah, no.

POF's story goes... Peter Bowman's (David Morse) down in God's country building a damn. One filthy, polluted, third world day he gets kidnapped. That's how the ELT -A rebel force left over from communist regime days- funds their "cause." The cause is now kidnapping and cocaine, but none the less.

It appears this kidnapping Venture Capital is a semi-regular real life occurrence around the world- but we just never hear about it. So dear Pete is whisked away into the mountains by millionaire rebels that live worse than abused sheep. His captors want a heap of dough for him-they aint talkin' Pillsbury either!

His wife Alice (Meg "With That Just F*&ked Hairstyle" Ryan ) is put in contact with Terry Thorne (Crowe) head of the K&R (Kidnap & Rescue) and and SSDD (Soft Smoky Demeanor Department). However Terry can't really take the case- seems Pete's company stopped paying K&R insurance over a year ago- the old "it- can't- happen- to- us-screw- 'em- anyway- corporate- red tape" scenario. On top of that Pete's loving employers maybe up to something...

We follow Alice and Pete through their horrendous ordeal. Realism and smart characters keep us engaged. The story was interesting and fast paced most of the time. Sure the script had a couple of key never-could-happen -spare-us -with -the -ten-foot-spear of illogical- stick parts, but kids it's a movie; make believe. For the "Bowmans" anyway.

David Morse, whom I adore, does his usual smooth professional delivery. He's finally getting some great roles tossed his way. Bravo. Believable and strong in the character Pete, who learns a little late life shouldn't be taken for granted, and small things just don't count. Sniff.

David Caruso was energetic as Thorne's buddy and cohort Dino. He's a good actor. You can bet he's certainly not heading back to TV Land anytime soon. He'd make a super psycho if you ask me. Like Seven Two, or Watcher Two. He's a tad creepy is all I'm saying.

This movie may not be an Oscar contender, but it paired up (pun intended) a few of our finest actors for your viewing pleasure.

Exclusive Interview With Meg Ryan From Summer 2000.

Check out Crowe's Tour-de-Force in Insider.

Snack recommendation: Chalupas and wine

Starring: Meg Crowe, er, Ryan, Russell Crowe, David Morse, and David Caruso

Directed By: Taylor Hackford




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