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Proof of Life

Year: 2000
Production Co: Castle Rock Entertainment
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Taylor Hackford
Producer: Taylor Hackford
Writer: Tony Gilroy
Cast: Russell Crowe, Meg Ryan, David Morse, David Caruso
A lot was written about this film at the time it came out - being Russell Crowe's first real flop and his public spat with director Taylor Hackford over the release date.

But I feel sorriest for David Caruso. He left NYPD Blue at the height of his popularity hoping to make the jump to movies much like George Clooney did t the height of his fame thanks to ER.

He'd picked a bunch of projects that looked great on paper and had every reason to cement him as a Hollywood leading man but just didn't fly.

So at that point in his career, a support role in a Russell Crowe action film must have looked like a dead cert. How must he have felt when it became apparent he'd picked the only dog in a thus-far unassailable CV by this co-star?

Either way it was another one that must have looked much better before it was made. Crowe is an SAS operative who now specialises in ransom cases, and when the frantic wife (Ryan) of a kidnapped businessman (Morse) comes to him for help, he finds himself interested in much more than her plight.

A bunch of high concept hooks and some hatstand action and tension fall flat on screen, and the ensuing melee surrounding Crowe and Ryan's relationship - for which she left husband Dennis Quaid and then broke off because of Crowe's constant demands for sex - which was more interesting than the movie.

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