John Frankenheimer’s RONIN is a movie that kicked my ass in a multiplex in the year 1998 A.D. The thing that really stuck in my head about it was the car chases, of course – specifically the one where they end up going the wrong way in a tunnel. But I also remembered it being very tough and smart, I was pretty confident it would hold up, and man was I right. This is a ’90s classic. But timeless.
The title is a metaphor comparing former intelligence agents and soldiers to masterless samurai. It’s about a group of them, apparently serving no higher cause, just letting whoever-the-fuck hire them for their particular set of skills. Sam (Robert De Niro between GREAT EXPECTATIONS and ANALYZE THIS) is a former CIA guy who’s in Montmartre to meet IRA operative Deirdre (Natascha McElhone, THE TRUMAN SHOW), who’s putting together a team that also includes the Frenchman Vincent (Jean Reno doing penance for GODZILLA), Englishman Spence (Sean Bean, GOLDENEYE), German computer expert Gregor (Stellan Skarsgård right before DEEP BLUE SEA) and American driver Larry (Skipp Sudduth, MONEY TRAIN, 54). They will be stealing a metal case from a heavily armed convoy, so they discuss what they know and don’t know about how it will go down, how and when they’ll do it, what equipment they’ll need, where they’ll get that, how they’ll prepare. (read the rest of this shit…)