Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
Rating:

A romantic hostage drama (yes, you read that right) set in the fictitious

South American country of Tecala (the movie was shot in Ecuador, standing in

for Columbia). Alice (Meg Ryan) and Peter Bowman (David Morse) are in Tecala

so Peter can supervise the construction of a dam backed by an American oil

company. Their marriage is on shaky ground; David is thrilled to be on a

project he believes (a bit naively) will benefit impoverished, rural Tecalans,

while Alice is stuck in a funk over the miscarriage she had in Africa during

Peter's last job. Then Peter is kidnapped by a volatile guerrilla group with

ties to the country's thriving drug trade. His employers call in professional

kidnap-and-ransom negotiator Terry Thorne (Russell Crowe), but after his first

meeting with the family — involving Alice and Peter's pushy sister, Janis

(Pamela Reed) — they realize that, oops, they've let their K&R insurance

lapse and can't pay. Though Thorne hops the next plane to London, he has a

crisis of conscience and returns to help get back Peter, who's been marched to

a remote guerrilla encampment in the mountains. As the negotiations drag on,

Terry and Alice develop a complex, not-quite-romantic relationship. Though the

romance between Alice and Terry feels as though it was grafted carelessly onto

the kidnapping narrative, Crowe almost makes it work. His emotionally charged performance stands in contrast to Ryan's annoying, movie-star turn. Batting

her eyes, tossing her perky, frosted curls and wearing a series of hippie-chic

outfits, Ryan has the outward signs of a performance down (brimming eyes,

tense mouth) but seems oddly disconnected from Alice's turmoil. The film is

also helped by fine performance from Morse (whose physical degeneration is

painfully convincing), as well as David Caruso, as another hostage negotiator,

and German actor Gottfried John, as a kidnapped missionary.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: R
  • User Rating:4.86 out of 5 (7 ratings)
  • Your Rating:
  • Review: A romantic hostage drama (yes, you read that right) set in the fictitious South American country of Tecala (the movie was shot in Ecuador, standing in for Columbia). Alice (Meg Ryan) and Peter Bowman (David Morse) are in Tecala so Peter can sup… (more)

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