Ronin (1998)

Robert De NiroJean RenoNatascha McElhoneStellan Skarsgård
John Frankenheimer


Ronin (1998) is a English,French,Russian movie. John Frankenheimer has directed this movie. Robert De Niro,Jean Reno,Natascha McElhone,Stellan Skarsgård are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1998. Ronin (1998) is considered one of the best Action,Crime,Thriller movie in India and around the world.

Ronin is the Japanese word used for Samurai without a master. In this case, the Ronin are outcast specialists of every kind, whose services are available to everyone - for money. Dierdre (undoubtedly from Ireland) hires several Ronin to form a team in order to retrieve an important suitcase from a man who is about to sell it to the Russians. After the mission has been completed successfully, the suitcase immediately gets switched by a member of the team who seems to work into his own pocket. The complex net of everyone tricking everyone begins to surface slowly, and deadly...

Ronin (1998) Reviews

  • Brilliance


    John Frankenheimer didn't have a lot of credibility in his last few years. His final film was the rather crap Reindeer Games, with Ben Affleck, and in 1996 he gave us the utterly terrible Island Of Doctor Moreau. However, he did do Ronin in 1998, which makes up for absolutely everything. It is a detachment from glossy, MTV-directed, Hollywood action movies. If you want trash, like Bad Boys 2, then this isn't for you. Ronin returns to the gritty, rustic and deadly serious actioners of the Seventies, much like Frankenheimer's own French Connection 2. The title refers to Samurai warriors in ancient Japan who were left with no cause, or purpose, if their master was killed. They'd roam the countryside, pretending to be thieves, beggars, even madmen and hiring their skills out to the highest bidder. Much like the lost, wandering freelancers that make up our cast of characters. Robert De Niro is Sam, an ex-CIA agent (or is he?), who bands together with a ragtag group of similar ex-spies for a "no questions asked" job with what appears to be the IRA. First we have Vincent (the wonderful Jean Reno), as a French agent who knows where to find just about anything you want. Spence (Sean Bean) is a gung-ho SAS dropout who is waaaaay out of his depth and ends up jeopardising the whole mission. Gregor (Stellan Skarsgard), an ex-KGB spy who knows his gadgets and another American called Larry (who is rather disposable). All of these men are led by Deirdre (Natascha McElhone), a young Irish woman who answers to Seamus O'Rourke (Jonathan Price), an IRA boss who is in a lot of trouble with his superiors. Still with me? No? Well I'm gonna continue anyway. The group's mission is to steal a metallic briefcase from the Russian Mafia. The contents of this case are a mystery; all we know is that a lot of people are willing to pay mucho plento to get their hands on it. As if the set-up wasn't tenuous enough, there is immediately too much suspicion within the group to bear. And the already complicated plot is thrown into endless chaos as double-crosses, double-double-crosses, secrets and lies screw things up in a big, big way. It sounds tough going, but it's not really. I'll admit I didn't really like Ronin when I first saw it (or the second or third for that matter), but it's one of those movies that creeps back on you. Frankenheimer's direction is so flawless and masterful that every frame of every scene flows effortlessly The acting is so well rehearsed and the cast so well chosen that even in every gesture, idiosyncrasy and subtle glance you can read into the characters's hidden motives. It takes a good number of viewings to decipher Ronin, but when the story is this well done, who cares? Since its release there have been few action films that have come close to its intensity. Some, like Bourne Identity/Supremacy try to emulate its bleak tone, but don't match up. Supremacy has a car chase that was desperate to beat Ronin's, but is far too flashy. That's also the ace up it's sleeve. About 80 minutes into the film, the second car chase is a juggernaut of film-making. Never before and probably never again for a long, long time, has there been a car chase so completely mental. No Michael Bay 1000 cuts a second, no slow-motion, no stunts silhouetted against the sunset, just sheer, relentless adrenaline, as DeNiro and Reno tear up the streets of Paris. It's the centrepiece of the movie and a perfect example of what REAL action film-making is. Elia Cmiral's score is the other utterly perfect aspect of the movie. Simultaneously lonely, seductive and mysterious, it surely is one of the best themes ever and anyone with sense would go out and buy the soundtrack CD right away. Ronin is perfection from beginning to end, from Frankenheimer's strong, imposing direction to David Mamet's script, riddled with cryptic dialogue and double-meanings. No one can deny Ronin's importance as a real action picture. No one can watch crap like xXx, or 6 Fast 6 Furious, and claim Ronin to be a bad movie. It has enough, maybe too much, integrity and intelligence to shame anything that comes even halfway close. If you're sick of action flicks, or films in general, where the audience just sits there passively and is fed information, then Ronin is the cure. It may sound like a bizarre comparison, but it's on par with Lost Highway, as one of those movies you have to figure out in your own damn time.

  • Great action movie, Hollywood should watch and learn from this


    Every once in a rare while comes an action movie that is also a genuinely good film. This is one of those movies. What makes these uncommon movies what they are is simple: plot. No movie can compromise that and in recent years Hollywood has been doing just that to show off it's million dollar special effects and two cent story lines. This film has both pulse pounding breakneck action scenes and developed and interesting story. The story starts when mercenaries are hired to retrieve a secret silver briefcase with mysterious contents. The mission goes awry with betrayal and we soon find out that everyone has their own motives and goals with the mysterious silver case. The cast is good and the direction is smooth and keeps the story flowing and it'll keep you guessing right up to the very end about just exactly what is going on and who everyone is. Then, there are the car chases and they are awesome. Truly awesome and even legendary by now. Just like classics like 'Bullitt' and 'The French Connection' and goofy camp films of the seventies (like the original 'Gone in 60 Seconds') this film uses no hyper-crazy CGI in its action scenes and that proves all for the better since it is an action movie, but it cannot lose all it's credibility for the sake of some cars crashing. A thrill needs to be at least partly believable, otherwise it won't be thrilling. In fact the whole film has a more realistic feel to it with the relentlessness of the action being not over the top, but still enjoyable for fans of the genre. Then there are the characters who much more real as they don't snap wise cracks while shooting bad guys square in the head one handed with a pistol at 30 yards. All in all, this is a very good entry in the action genre and Hollywood should take note. 8/10 Rated R for violence

  • Car Insurance in France must be expensive ...


    I picked up this DVD in Asda's a few weeks ago and seeing it had Robert De Niro starring convinced me enough to buy it. Then seeing in the credits it starred Jean Reno, Sean Bean and Jonothan Pryce too made me realise I was watching a winner here. I wasn't wrong either, this film is brilliant. The beginning is slow and tense; dark, clear colours in the picture sets the mood perfectly. From then on most of it is pretty much action. Five mysterious men of various backgrounds (ex-CIA, KGB etc) meet in Paris, France for a job headed by a Northern Irish woman. The job is to steal a case from a group and return the case to their as yet unknown employers. Just as things seem to run smoothly, one of them is a double-crosser. Now for some of the best bits, the car chases. These are shot magnificently as Peugeot's, BMW's and Audi's tear through the streets of Paris. These chases are the most thrilling chases I have ever seen. And when you get chases, you get crashes. Think on-coming traffic chases and you might get the picture. This is a must see film. 8 out of 10.

  • A Case of Unknowns


    Ronin (1998) being one of the late John Frankinheimer's final films before his passing is a much improved formulaic film to the disastrous turnout of the Marlon Brando led Island of Dr Moreau. The story contains a "McGuffin" being a plot device that the characters want very much, but the audience cares little or nothing about. The device of Ronin is a boxy Metal Case, with contents unknown. At the same time the film's title draws its name to the similarities of the leads....The Ronin were ancient Japanese Samurii warriors without Masters to serve. Mercenaries. Our film contains a group of former spooks of multiple nationalities turned freelance mercenaries without a master aka a Country to serve. Sam, Vincent, Gregor, and Deidre plus a handful of others whose names are unimportant. For this movie, our hodgepodge of Ronin are hired by parties unknown (accept that they have Irish and/or Russian connections), for reasons unknown to capture a case whose contents remain unknown in possession by French gangster whose reasons for possessing the case remain unknown. The Ronin do their homework and manage to snatch the case after hair-raising car chases and violent gun battles. But then the double cross begins and a new chase (both literally and figuratively) ensues for the now split Ronin the recapture the case and send it on its way to its unknown Desiree. For all its splendor and suspense, Ronin, still lacks a clear direction to follow. Clearly, Frankenheimer's direction was utilizing a Hitchcock McGuffin (the case) to explore the characters. However, the script lacks a real clear direction for any of the characters, perhaps thats why the title was named Ronin. Despite all their combined acting talents and prestige Robert De Niro and company all come across as dry characters. All are basically amoral and suspicious of their fellows. The audience really has no like or dislike of what constitutes the good guys from the bad ones. None really show passion towards the Case beyond its perceived monetary rewards, which is what they are trying to obtain. Unfortunately, the McGuffin fails in this film because, the audience really cares more about the case than the characters. As if the Case itself had a personality and history. Clearly the Case's contents are of high value given all the trouble and time that the higher-ups are paying to get it. However what the movie lacks inward looking makes up for in high stakes stunts, car chases and gunfights, that makes the viewer more interested in the momentary safety of both the supposed good and bad guys. Well done on that part. In an otherwise typical Hollywood way of illustrating things for the audience to understand better, occurs about 2/3 of the way in the movie after Sam performs surgery on himself, at the old man's house in the Mountains. This man had a hobby of designing and building diorama-like miniature sets of legendary battle scenes, complete with handcrafted characters in proper attire. On this particular day he was designing scenes of Japanese Feaudal Samuri, and he began a little monologue about how certain warriors who lost their masters were known as Ronin. In a sense he compared these ancient feudal warriors to the freelance spooks of the movie. This is how the filmmaker's tied the film's title to the film, which would otherwise be called something like "Hire, then Betray, then Die" Possible spoilers below. On a footnote, at the movies conclusion during the little coffee shop scene between Sam and Vincent, a reporter mentions in a sound only byte that some new twist had occurred concerning peace negotiations in Northern Ireland...suggesting that the case's contents contained some sort of instrument of negotiation that the parties involved need to help in the peace negotiations...what that could be I couldn't tell you. Provided you can look past the desire to learn about whats in that ubiquitous case, Ronin is a film that any action fan will rave about, but mystery fans might find a little lacking. My opinion...I enjoyed it but still left wanting to know more about the case and why all the destruction and death to get it, when the characters themselves had no desire to keep it permanently.

  • Stunning car chases!! great movie!


    This thriller from veteren John Frankenheimer is pure excellence, the script, acting and action are top draw. De Niro and Reno are brilliant in this as of course you would expect from two such excellent actors. The action scenes are pulse pounding and particularly excellent are the car chases, probably the best ever. Not only did the stunt guys risk their lives but the guys shooting the action captured some truly thrilling close up view from the cars as they speed along. The action also carries a certain degree of realism to it, the shootouts are sensible and the car chases and crashes seem very genuine no massive corkscrewing threw the air like most car chases or cars jumping 100 feet in the air like in Gone in 60 seconds, which is all very good but not for this sort of thriller. The pacing of the film was great and there was a constant chilling atmosphere. As I said before Robert De Niro and Jean Reno were exceptional particularly in their scenes together. The support cast are good too with a brief but excellent display from Sean Bean and Natasha Mchelhone and Jonathan Pryce are both good as Irish terrosists with comendable accents. All in all a very god way to spend a few hours.

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