I have recently seen two movies. I enjoyed them very much and I highly recommend them. I had seen both movies before but it was only on the recent viewing of them that I noticed some interesting similarities. Ronin (1998), stars Robert De Niro, with screenplay written by J. D. Zeik and directed by John Frankenheimer. Proof of Life (2000) stars Meg Ryan and Russel Crowe, was written by Tony Gilroy and directed by Taylor Hackford.
For the most part, these movies have little in common. Ronin is a spy/intelligence thriller. The name is taken from Japanese history and describes wandering Samurai who have failed in protecting their master and turned into hired mercenaries. The story focuses on the efforts of an eclectic team of mercenaries to acquire a mysterious package. Proof of Life has more of an action/drama and centers about Meg Ryan's efforts to get her husband back from kidnapping guerrilas in South America with the help of Russel Crowe.
And yet, if one looks at the movies from the perspective of the characters Sam (De Niro) and Terry Thorne (Crowe) then some commonalities are immediately evident. Both Sam and Terry are highly experienced, highly competent, admirable characters. Both Sam and Terry eliminate an incompetent fraud from playing a larger role early in their respective stories. Both Sam and Terry have equally admirable friends in the movie, Vincent (Jean Reno) in the case of Sam and Dino (David Caruso) in the case of Terry. Both Sam and Terry speak foreign languages in the movie. Sam speaks French, while Terry speaks Spanish. Both Sam and Terry fall for the female character in the movie, yet in neither case does a full relationship develop.
I realize this doesn't add up to to very much but I stand by my point that these are both highly enjoyable movies well worth watching.