Every Meg Ryan Movie Ranked From Worst To Best
“Proof of Life” is a kidnap-for-ransom thriller about an American engineer, Peter Bowman (David Morse), who is kidnapped by a group of gorilla activists, in a fictional South American country where he is building a blocade. After Bowman’s kidnapping, Terry Thorne (Russell Crowe) is sent to negotiate with the kidnappers, but leaves when he learns the company Bowman worked for doesn’t have kidnapping insurance and is on the verge of financial collapse. . Feeling guilty, Thorne returns to help Bowman’s wife, Alice (Meg Ryan), and get her husband back regardless of payment.
Alice and Thorne develop a relationship over the months they work together, adding a romantic side story to the film. Crowe and Ryan fail to bring believable chemistry to the screen, despite what was rumored to be happening off-screen. On Metacritic, critics gave the film mixed reviews, but audiences were kinder, likely because of Crowe and Ryan’s star power. It looked like “Proof of Life” might be haunted by the press over its star’s alleged affair, rather than the film itself, but critics had a lot to say.
Todd McCarthy of Variety called the film “a disappointing routine thriller”. The film’s premise is compelling and could have sparked an intelligent dialogue about South American politics and terrorism, asking the audience to consider where the line lies between activism and terrorism. That perspective might have made the kidnap-ransom storyline more interesting, but the movie wasn’t as engaging as it could have been.