Ronin (1998)

Ronin-2

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Director: John Frankenheimer
Writer: J D Zeil
Starring : Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stelland Skarsgard, Sean Bean, Skipp Sudduth, USA 2h 2m

John Frankenheimer continues to thrill us with a detailed insight into the underground espionage business as a host of A-list stars collect together in the backstreets of France to obtain a very important box. It’s a lot more impressive than it sounds,but this has to be one of the all time best action noir movies.

Opening with a damp cold night in a quiet region of France, a parky looking Sam scouts around a soon to be closing cafe, he carefully plants a gun outside and then boom we’re on a whirlwind tour de force, he’s been recruited along with a group of international former secret agents and cold war warriors to obtain a case from some unlucky chap.

The film is more memorable for it’s dynamic road chases a noteable MO of the director who gave us Grand Prix (1966), and somewhat shady Sam (Robert De Niro) who pretty much pwns the film, he instantly takes the lead in this dangerous covert mission often controlling Deirdre (Natascha Mcelhone) who supposed to be in control, but Sam’s obvious expert knowledge leads the gang through this maze of double crossing and secrets.

A sprawling espionage film with brilliant insight into the cold and double crossing antics of a few ex secret agents each trying to out do each other for one common goal

 

The group collate at the very beginning of the movie and instantly friendly with the few sensible members of the team, he cases everyone out and knows who he can rely on and who’s a possible threat or liability, Spence (Sean Bean), is the comedy weakest link and his early scenes are brilliant and slightly cringeworthy.The dynamic high speed road chases were well shot and Skipp Sudduth did his own stunt driving, adding to the freedom of the scenes and generally all of the acting is pretty solid, especially the cold hearted genius sociopath that is portrayed by Stellan Skarsgard.

All in all it’s a very appealing thriller, it’s not like your average John Grisham, it’s not overly intellectual and complicated, and it does have a slightly buff ending ..

 

{what’s in the box}

 

…but i absolutely adore every second of the film, from the quick hits of black comedy, the cars, and the entire chase all together, the plot doesn’t stop twisting and writhing until the very end, the only letdown was the overuse of the “theme” song but just make up some words to go with it, it makes it more entertaining.

Rating 9/10

RCollateral (2004), French Connection (1971),
L – Car chase films, Selected French Films, Ronin inspired films
5BRobert De Niro, Jean Reno, Stellan Skarsgard

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