Proof of Life
Reviewed by David Kashimba

If you havenít seen a good war movie for a while, Proof of Life, starring Meg Ryan, Russell Crowe, David Morse and David Caruso, provides some interesting insights in the Kidnap and Ransom war. Actually K & R is big business in todayís world where many small armies and terrorist groups help fund their operations by kidnapping people whose businesses are willing to pay a stiff ransom for their safe return. Many big businesses operating in other countries carry K & R insurance for their employees.

When Peter Bowman (David Morse) is kidnapped in a Latin American country, his wife Alice (Meg Ryan) is faced with making some difficult choices. Her husbandís company recently dropped their K & R insurance policy due to financial difficulties, and local law enforcement is only out to take her money. Enter Terry Thorne (Russell Crowe), an expert in K & R, to come to the Bowman familyís rescue. When negotiations break down, Thorne solicits the help of a few of his friends in the K & R business including Dino (David Caruso), and weíre off on a limited war in the jungles of South America where they try to rescue Bowman and another hostage.

Crowe and Caruso do a good job portraying comrades in arms, but the most interesting comradeship is the one that develops between Bowmanís wife and Thorne. Itís especially interesting because director Taylor Hackford chose to keep it subtle.

But donít look for any great depth in this movie. Itís simply an entertaining action film that returns to a formula that works. When people are faced with a life and death crisis like a war, social order breaks down and we return to the primal stuff that weíre all made of. In these situations civilization is meaningless. The primal side of our beings energizes us, and itís this older part of our evolved selves that helps us to survive.

If you miss this primal energy, go see Proof of Life and at least tap into it for two hours.

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