starring Meg Ryan, Russell Crowe, David Morse, Pamela Reed
screenplay by Tony Gilroy
directed by Taylor Hackford
by Walter Chaw Proof of Life is essentially a re-telling of Someone to Watch Over Me with some bits of Missing in Action, Papillon, Casablanca, and Bridge on the River Kwai tacked on witlessly and serving as a faint excuse for Russell Crowe to slap on fatigues and crank up the virility from "high" to "stud bull." For all of Crowe's smouldering presence and incendiary gaze, however, there is remarkably little chemistry between he and his infamous on-set flame, Meg Ryan. Whether this sterility is a result of a script that relies on cliché and unlikely "meet cute" scenarios, or a result of Meg Ryan's overreliance on trick two of her two-trick bag, I'm not certain. I'm content to call it an unfortunate combination of both.