Robert De Niro stars as an American intelligence operative adrift in irrelevance since the end of the Cold War--much like a masterless samurai, a.k.a. "ronin." With his services for sale, he joins a renegade, international team of fellow covert warriors with nothing but time on their hands. Their mission, as defined by the woman who hires them (Natascha McElhone), is to get hold of a particular suitcase that is equally coveted by the Russian mafia and Irish terrorists. As the scheme gets underway, De Niro's lone wolf strikes up a rare friendship with his French counterpart (Jean Reno), gets into a more-or-less romantic frame of mind with McElhone, and asserts his experience on the planning and execution of the job--going so far as to publicly humiliate one team member (Sean Bean) who is clearly out of his league. The story is largely unremarkable--there's an obligatory twist midway through that changes the nature of the team's business--but legendary filmmaker John Frankenheimer (Seconds, The Manchurian Candidate) leaps at the material, bringing to it an honest tension and seasoned, breathtaking skill with precision-action direction. The centerpiece of the movie is an honest-to-God car chase that is the real thing: not the how-can-we-top-the-last-stunt cartoon nonsense of Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon), but a pulse-quickening, kinetic dance of superb montage and timing. In a sense, Ronin is almost Frankenheimer's self-quoting version of a John Frankenheimer film. There isn't anything here he hasn't done before, but it's sure great to see it all again. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
On The DVD
The two-disc set has substantial additional features, most of which emphasize the film's extraordinary car chase sequences. In his commentary, director John Frankenheimer delights in the stunts ("Now that's the best four-wheel drift I think I've ever seen!") but also explores the difficulty of effective time transitions in a thriller. He also discusses his love of Paris, and how the city presents challenges to location filmmaking that aren't encountered in U.S. productions. The segments "The Driving of Ronin" and "Ronin: Filming in the Fast Lane" also focus on cars, Paris, and cars in Paris; the interview with stunt-car coordinator Jean-Claude Lagniez is especially enlightening.
Robert De Niro, Natascha McElhone, and Jean Reno discuss their characters in Venice Film Festival interviews; De Niro is characteristically taciturn, McElhone articulate and lovely, and Reno charmingly expansive about his character Vincent. ("Is he tough? Yeh, he knows his guns.") McElhone also gets her own separate interview, in which she discusses her concern at being thrown into the opening scenes as a novice among old pros--a situation shared by her character in the film.
Segments with the director of photography, editor, and composer are also included, but Elia Cmiral's use of the haunting duduk theme deserves more exploration than it gets here. There is also a thrown-together photo gallery and a brief, bleak alternate ending. --Michael Smith --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“I really don’t know how Amazon could say this is helpful,when you have Twelve,count them Twelve
different posters (pictures) of the same movie (Ronin) and all has a different... Read more
Tight and gritty story line and it moves at a fast pace. Good acting and best car chase since "Bullit". Read morePublished 20 months ago by peterj
Interesting story and some of the best car chases ever. Great shots of France and especially of Paris. Excellent filmPublished 20 months ago by Larry Sales
Top notch acting especially from DeNiro (no surprise) and Jean Reno. Plenty of well done action and great locations. Can't miss spending the time to watch this one.Published on April 28 2013 by BobbyT
Ronin is my favorite action/drama film and I view it about 3-4 times a year on average.
The sets and natural European landscapes, along with the excellent choice of... Read more
Hello, I purchased this version of Ronin on Blu-ray expecting more then the standard DVD have, unfurtunatlly I was incorrect in doing so. Read morePublished on March 29 2009 by M. Nykiel
I have no idea why I had never heard of this movie before because Ronin is a whale of a good film. I can take or leave most action films, but give me a taut, intelligent,... Read morePublished on Sept. 13 2006 by Daniel Jolley
Bobby DeNiro, enough said. This a great, yet underrated heist movie with one heck of a char chase scene.Published on Feb. 27 2006 by Keith Friesen
this was kind of dissapointing, but i had pretty high expectations. it didn't really do anything wrong, but dispite a lot of action, it wasn't the most interesting movie.Published on July 11 2004