Starring: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Sean Bean, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgard
Written By: J.D. Zeik, Richard Weisz
Directed By: John Frankenheimer
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Finally, Ronin is available on Blu-ray and it’s not an import! Robert De Niro stars in the film as an American operative, who has been so to speak, in espionage purgatory. Ronin are warriors who are considered “masterless” and wander the world as hired hands involving themselves in jobs where they see fit. Sam (De Niro) joins an international group that have all been “masterless,” to get their hands on a mysterious package. In one of the late John Frankenheimer’s finest and most exciting films, Ronin is action packed and exciting featuring some of the best car chases in cinematic history.
Brought together for their various skills, a mysterious group of international intelligence spies must use their expertise to capture a case in which the contents inside are unknown. Deidre (McElhone) has assembled the team and is considered their boss as they gather Intel on what they are trying to steal and when. Vincent (Reno) is more of a jack of all trades and knows the in and out’s of France, while Sam is the American who is the brains of the outfit and thinks of all scenarios. Gregor (Skarsgard) is a former German KGB operative and specializes in computers and tech support. A few other people fill in the gaps as they try to do their job as quickly as possible because the group only has one chance at capturing the package if not the job is lost, and their payment will be nullified. The group is driven by money and the power of the case, though the entire time they have no idea what is in it. Double-crossing and competition from outside international terrorists continue throughout the film as the group races all over France to get the package.
The cast is fantastic as De Niro and Jean Reno really are the stand outs. Natasha McElhone and Jonathan Price give the cast a run for their money. The story gets off to a slow start, but continues to build and progress and ends with an adrenaline rushed conclusion. I remember when the film was released nearly 11 years ago that it was very controversial in it portrayed what was very similar to Princess Diana’s car crash in France. It certainly was very close but I think it was just a coincidence. I found it very exciting and could not believe some of the car chase sequences in this film. I remember reading somewhere that the Director Frankenheimer really used the actors driving in the cars during most of the sequences. He managed to capture their true fear as they navigated in and out of traffic and for the most part, facing the wrong side of traffic.
I was disappointed to find that no extras were added to this Blu-ray release but that’s okay because this film looked amazing in high definition video and audio. The action sounded deep and clear, and the video looked really crisp and the colors were vibrant.
Widescreen 2.35:1 Color
ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Surround
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
English, Spanish, Korean, Cantonese
Favorite Scenes: First mission, Scouting on the French Riviera, Car Chase through Paris tunnels, Showdown at the Ice Skating Competition
Running Time: 121
Extras Rating: N/A
Reviewer: Matt Kremkau