“Ronin”, is for everyone who enjoys Robert DeNiro, a great spy tale, a host of great supporting actors, and some of the more amazing car chases filmed on Europe’s very narrow, pre-automotive designed streets. The word Ronin describes a Samurai who has lost his master, and in this film, the word serves as a metaphor for cold warriors that no longer have the same Cold War to fight. The threats are not gone only changed, so the great games that have played host to a variety of films and movies are still available to talented writers and directors who can adapt.
A great deal of the action takes place at high speed on either very narrow urban roads, or wildly twisting mountain stretches that lack the same manner of safety barriers we are accustomed to in The USA, that make the chase scenes all the more amazing. The director and other key players who made the film have racing backgrounds which allowed them to bring a type of realism that goes beyond the typical Hollywood chase.
Jean Reno, Natascha Mcelhone, Stellan Skarsgard, Sean Bean, and Jonathan Pryce all make for a wonderful ensemble cast. The chase is for a case, and the cast that is assembled are allegedly a team in the hunt for a box that no one knows the contents of. The traditional players like the Russians are involved, the CIA, and then the new Russians along with the Irish, and members of agencies that either are active or are not, you never know until the film ends. And even when it does, the DVD offers an alternate ending that changes in a very dramatic manner how the film you just watched concluded.
“Ronin”, is a very good film, a definite cut above the average, and well worth the one minute and two hours of your time it will occupy.