Proof of LifeDecember 8, 2000
Alice hires a professional negotiator to obtain the release of her engineer husband, who has been kidnapped by anti-government guerrillas in South America.
Release Year: 2000
Rating: 6.2/10 (30,162 voted)
Critic's Score: 45/100
Stars: Meg Ryan, Russell Crowe, David Morse
In a mountainous South American country, drug-dealing rebels kidnap Peter Bowman, a US engineer who works for an oil company's subsidiary. The company calls in a negotiator, Terry Thorne, an Aussie ex-soldier based in London. When the subsidiary goes bankrupt, the oil company washes its hands of the matter and pulls Thorne. Bowman's wife Alice begs him to stay. She and Peter's sister cobble together some money, Thorne talks ransom terms with the cash-strapped rebels, and Peter, chained high in the mountains, is sustained by a photo of Alice. When the politics of the situation change, so must Thorne's strategy. And what can Alice and he do about the attraction growing between them?
Writers: Tony Gilroy, William Prochnau
Mario Ernesto Sánchez
(as Mario Ernesto Sanchez)
(as Vicky Hernandez)
(as Norma Martinez)
Release Date: 8 December 2000
Filming Locations: Biedrusko, Poznan, Wielkopolskie, Poland
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $10,207,869
(10 December 2000)
(25 February 2001)
Did You Know?
Originally it was planned that all extras were to receive the normal pay used for American extras. But the Ecuadorian government, who could not afford to have their actors paid that well demanded that the movie pay Ecuadorian salaries.
Bowman empties his gun and the slide stays cocked back because it's empty. In the next scene the slide is back in position, but Bowman wouldn't know how to do this to a gun, having not used one before.
This is the conclusive ransom report for Mr. Pierre Lenoir. Location, Chechnya. Result, positive.
At it's heart it is a dramatic and enjoyable film – the padding is the problem
Peter and Alice Bowman are working on a dam in South America in the
employment of a large oil company. When Peter is kidnapped the company
bring in expert negotiator Terry Thorne. However when the oil company
out of money due to no insurance, they take Terry off the case and he
for another job. However a pang of conscience brings him back to help
and he replaces the corrupt locals. As he tries to help get her husband
back he also falls for Alice.
As a fan of David Caruso, I was annoyed that I missed this film at the
cinema (I blinked and I missed it!) and by the time the video came out it
had slipped my mind. Shown of tv last night was the perfect time for me
see it and, despite negative reviews, I actually quite enjoyed it. I
the problem is that the critics struggled to get past the handful of
problems (more later) to find that the film was an effective, if talky,
drama with a thriller edge. The premise is good and it allows tense
where Terry tough talks as well as scenes with Peter with his captors.
not perfect in this regard as it is a bit talky but for me it was
I got the impression from other comments that people had expected raging
battles all the way through the film.
However what does damage the film is Alice Bowman. I can see the
behind Terry and Alice's romance – it could have been another layer of
drama. In reality it doesn't work a bit and only serves to take away from
the main thrust of the film – their relationship never convinces and
of interest is actually done with it. Likewise the character of Alice
doesn't really work either – I never believed she was emotionally going
through the wringers to the degree the script suggested she would be. A
part of the blame for this must lie with Meg Ryan herself. She is miscast
in the first place, but on top of that she is too pristine throughout the
film – hair and makeup perfect no matter what and a stupid little
hippie-girl personality that stops her being a real person. It is a bad
performance and the film would have benefited from a shorter running time
which lost the romance subplot and scaled back on Ryan's
However she is carried by a real star turn from Crowe. It may not be that
clever a role but he does `tough' really well and he helps improve the
tension of several scenes. Morse is a good actor and he does well here.
The only downside of his performance is that he seemed fit and well
of his makeup; I was looking for him to look thinner and mentally battered
as the film progressed but he didn't – it's not his fault, I guess the
had no time to do this. Caruso gives the same tough performance he does
every thing he ever does so if you like that then you'll like him here – I
Overall this is an enjoyable film if you can get past it's major problems
surrounding Alice and Terry's relationship. Script-wise this aspect was
weak on paper, but a comparatively rubbish turn from the miscast Meg Ryan
just makes it all the weaker. Thank god that the basic premise is tense
the male leads' tough talking is good fun.