Each week I'll post a new letter and all you have to do is nominate a film that you think…
Your ally could become your enemy.
A briefcase with undisclosed contents -- sought by Irish terrorists and the Russian mob -- makes its way into criminals' hands. An Irish liaison assembles a squad of mercenaries, or ronin, charged with the thorny task of recovering the case. But the team, led by an ex-CIA agent, mistrusts one another. Can they accomplish their mission?
European set conspiracy thrillers were big in the seventies. From "The Odessa File" to "Day Of The Jackal", they found an audience with intelligent and often thrilling attention to detail. John Frankenheimer's last really good movie, "Ronin" had more than enough intrigue, action and suspense to rival both of those classics.
An assembled team of mercenaries, all ex-special forces and former security personnel are gathered for a job in France. British, American and Russian "Ronin" join forces with a female IRA member for the heist of a mysterious case. Double crosses ensue along with some terrific action and one of the best car chase scenes in recent memory. Robert De Niro is joined by Jean Reno,Stellan Skarsgard and a flaky…
Review In A Nutshell:
For me Ronin is a film of two halves, the first one about the obtaining of the mysterious grey/silver case and the second about the betrayal and the chase in obtaining it back. My feeling towards the film is split, with the first half of the film being wonderfully handled. It showed us how these hired men, all of which possess a specific task and skill-set, prepared themselves for the job. Watching these men plan their mission is exciting, the film was able to suck me in and having me wanting more. I wanted to understand the process of being in this business and the personalities that found within it; though the film delivers this at…
Let's say there's a movie whose cast includes Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Stellan Skarsgard, Sean Bean, and Jonathan Pryce, tell me that, I'm already sold. Frankly you had me are De Niro and Reno. Now add on that the movie is an intricate action thriller, sounds good. Wait, there's more, said movie also features some of the most intense chase scenes and shoot-outs ever filmed. Sound too good to be true, well it's not.
To sum up the story in Ronin would almost be pointless, sure it's twisty, plot heavy, and convoluted, but in all reality, the plot doesn't matter. For what it's worth, the story centers around a group of mercenaries hired to steal a case. Who are…
I'm so glad I finally got to the end of this one! I watched this as part of Sean's Movie Club.
I agree with everyone else that the car chases, especially the one later in the film, are absolutely outrageous. The best I've seen, probably. At first I thought they were kind of cheesy, but as they went on and on I thought my heart was going to stop from the excitement.
Besides the action scenes, I didn't find a lot to connect to in this. I always love Jean Reno, I think he has this sweetness that I find adorable even when he's killing people. He was the bright spot of this movie for me. I don't know if…
Frankenheimer handles chaotic action with breathtaking energy and clarity; the car chases in this film are a master-class in action cinema. While Frankenheimer allows himself a few marvelous flourishes (the very best being a quick edit from blood splashed on a car window to an ice skater's red sweater), his direction is mostly understated here, but never less than precise.
“Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt. That is the first thing they teach you.”
-Sam (Robert De Niro)
This is part of Sean’s Movie Club: A Crazy Experiment List – My review for Ronin, the first film chosen.
Ronin is the Japanese term for a samurai without a master. They'd roam the countryside, pretending to be thieves or beggars, and hiring their skills to those willing to pay. Unfortunately no, this film does not entail De Niro and Reno running around in samurai outfits chopping everyone up with katanas. Instead, it follows a leaderless group of outcasts, specialists from every field, whom hire their services out to the highest bidder.
The team are hired by Deirdre (Natascha…
It's just not my type of movie.
Ronin, the Japanese word for Samurai without a master, left with no leader they roam the countryside as freelancers for hire, which in this film places a group of outcast specialists together for one mission. We’ve got the ex-CIA American Sam, a Frenchman named Vincent, a Russian who could be ex-KGB named Gregor, an Englishman named Spence and another American named Larry who can drive…and drive well. The film is shrouded in mystery over just what does the suitcase contain but essentially it doesn’t matter as we’re given characters to study on their motives and intentions, such as the American Sam, reserved, somewhat humourless and is very cautious in how the mission is approached, down to very precise detail. The…
Sublime throwback to another era in which good actors and serious directors made thrillers that took place in a recognizable world where professionals plied their elicit trades with a minimum of irony, an absence of camp, and with a certain wry humor. While De Niro and company are uniformly good, especially Sean Bean as a wannabe mercenary, Jean Reno and his weary eyes seems divinely appointed to his role. Automotive pyrotechnics put it on a par with "Bulliitt" and "The French Collection".
An extremely watchable, often exciting crime thriller, with some great car chases and good shoot-outs, and a fun (almost romantic) chemistry between Robert De Niro and Jean Reno. And yet something is badly missing - it feels like a 90s Bond film, cobbled together from the bits where Bond is offscreen. The blandly bombastic score and insistence on everyone betraying (or shooting, or both) everyone else in the cast gets very tiring, and drags this down from a potentially excellent film to a collection of good scenes that don't quite stick together as they should.
it was ok, has some flaws. but it is helped by the acting in it..
now I must start my Kurt Russell marathon
*Automatic one-star deduction for the appearance of Natascha McElhone in any feature film or television program
By far one of the most under appreciated action films from the 90's with one hell of a cast and set pieces. Excellent all round
A rarity. And something there should be more of... an action movie with a brain. Cracking dialogue from David Mamet, a stellar cast and utterly thrilling car chases from Frankenheimer.
Smart, never talks down to its audience, and always riveting.
Wanted to revisit this for a while. Great car chase! Still holds up.
Still need to see Smokey & the Bandit and For Your Eyes Only, which often turn up on these lists, but…