An incomplete list of films ZMF has decreed "NOT OPTIONAL." If I missed anything, lemme know.
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…
Mamet and Frankenheimer possessed by Melville is basically crack to a film-nerd sociopath in love with genre hyperspecificity like me.
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.
Letter Grade: B-
They need to make more spy/espionage movies and they should all be Ronin-like.
It has some great car chases, and De Niro and Reno give good performances, but this is a film that gives you little reason to invest in the characters. It's also 15 minutes too long.
Its a fun action movie with some of the greatest car chase scenes. Plus Robert DeNiro.
Plenty of action and a great car-chase scenethrough Paris. Not sure what it was all about, though. Hard to sit through for two whole hours.
Love the Mamet touch
Absolutely stunning car chase sequences, took liberties with the title, it has rather little to do with the 47 Ronin and isn't really crucial to the plot, could just be named Mercs or similar.
This movie really is kind of messy, isn't it?
But the car chases are brilliant, and it looks beautiful.
At the end of the film, it's not enough to make a case for this being a future cult classic. And there is no human element to make you care about these people.
Rather this is a thin genre exercise. A spy thriller with a lot of space between its action scenes. I normally wouldn't have a problem with that if within that space here was something driving the film, but mainly, you're waiting for the next chase, the next well-lit shot.
One of the better suspense/spy thrillers out there and this film will probably one day achieve cult status. Robert DeNiro gives a masterful performance as a spook that seems to know more than he's letting on. A very clever and complicated plot, betrayals, great action scenes, and a surprise ending are all part of this well done spy thriller. This movie was crying out for a sequel as the main character is so compelling.
I. (in alphabetical order)
BESIEGED / Bernardo Bertolucci
FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI / Hou Hsiao-hsien
HISTOIRE(S) DU CINÉMA /…