Complete list of the films Guillermo del Toro has recommended on twitter. Click the 'Read notes' button to see his…
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', and gives them the thorny task of recovering the case.
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…
John Frankenheimer's filmography is a rather patchy affair with the odd gem dotted among some fairly forgettable cinema releases. There's also a selection of turds in there too, with the Michael Caine starring Holcroft Covenant a particular turkey, but when you look deeply into his early work a couple of iconic films stand out. The Train and The Birdman of Alcatraz with Burt Lancaster, and of course The Manchurian Candidate and French Connection II are the highlights of the New York born director's career, but his 1998 action film Ronin are what most younger viewers will remember him for.
A Ronin was a samurai in feudal Japan who had no master. That's an important little bit of information here in…
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.
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.
Ronin is kind of a frustrating movie, in that the style is there, and the performances -- while not anything great -- are solid, but there's really not much substance to back it all up. This is your basic MacGuffin plot, and there are a number of entertaining action and chase scenes that come about because of it, but there's nothing beyond those to sink your teeth into. I could also tell that David Mamet did an uncredited script re-write, because the dialogue in this film has that weird, stilted quality he brings that I'm just not really a fan of a lot of the time. At the end of the day, Ronin is just another disposable and forgettable action thriller.
Unsure why I didn't watch this at the time; I distinctly remembering having the option on several occasions. Frankenheimer's pacing and handling of the action is pretty nice, and the French setting is a bonus. Why they chose to have Pryce (whom I normally love) and McElhone butcher faux-Belfast accents instead of hiring actual irish actors, I don't know, but it was more than a little distracting at times. I'd have dropped the metaphoric Samurai tie-in altogether as well, or at least committed to it more fully. This is no Ghost Dog, and Lonsdale's monologue accompanied model-building seems too little too late. Yet as a crime-thriller the narrative and characterisation works pretty well with De Niro and Reno proving dab hands at the slightly more cerebral genre stuff.
"Whats the colour of the boathouse at Hereford"
Once every two years or so I find myself watching Ronin.
Ronin isn't a spectacularly well made film, the plot is good, the acting is actually well above average and cinematography whilst good is excellent in the taut car chases through tightly packed Nice, chases that wouldn't be equaled in their realism until The Bourne Identity 4 years later
The reason I love the movie however is that it is greater than the sum of its parts, there is just something about this film and the more I dissect it a lot of it has to do with Jean Reno and Robert DeNiro.
As you will see in other reviews I do…
Car chases - check
Sometimes you can't ask for more, especially when the plot is all over the place, but there are so many redeeming qualities to the movie, that I don't care what was in that freaking briefcase! De Niro doing McQueen better than McQueen himself. Plus the score gives that same level of nostalgia, very reminiscent of 70's cinema. I'm willing to forgive so much here, because I know this film is not without its flaws, but this was just what I needed tonight 👍
"No questions. No answers. That's the business we're in. You just accept it and move on. Maybe that's lesson number three."
"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt."
1. Robert De Niro and Jean Reno are great in this, as if you expected anything less.
2. The story in Ronin is kind of flighty and half-told; maybe this is to try and avoid creating eventual plot holes for itself, but at the conclusion, there ends up being a great deal more questions than answers.
3. They tend to over-dramatize situations that don't need nearly as much drama. Like De Niro's first venture into the coffee shop in Paris. They made it seem like some shit was gonna go down for about ten minutes before revealing that it was just... a meeting. And why would these dangerous…
Tutto adrenalina, sparatorie e inseguimenti, ma è un Frankenheimer già visto e rivisto.
Before DeNiro fell into the reoccurring doldrums of predictability, terrible scripts and wooden supporting performances He did this great action car chase classic. It was smart while also not burying the viewer with an over convoluted plot. Just well developed characters with an up tempo pace, tight script, and a clearly commited team of actors, demolition experts and busy camera operators. A story they didn't try to dumbdown for any eyeball to digest. Be entertained and enjoy my friend.