RONIN [1998] movie review

July 27, 2013 · Print This Article

RONIN [1998] is a very rare movie. It is an action movie completely devoid of gimmicks, one liners and preposterous stunts. It is almost completely humorless. This is a serious movie about serious criminal operatives hired to retrieve a case at all costs.

Another aspect of RONIN that separates is from common action fair is that there is basically no exposition. We follow Robert De Niro through a few small streets in Paris to a nondescript bar. It seems he is not the only one waiting there to meet up for what will become a mission to retrieve a very coveted case worth a lot of money.

De Niro (and us) would really like some info on what is going on, but not much comes. No one really knows each other, nor trusts each other, but they are tasked to do this very difficult and dangerous job.

De Niro quickly emerges as the most competent of the bunch and seems to bond with Jean Reno’s character, or at least Reno realizes if I stick with De Niro I may just stay alive longer.

The action is all very brutal and visceral as there is no CGI used. Thus, the car chase scenes, which I had heard of before seeing the movie, were intense and felt out of control like driving too fast in a car really does. I guess there was a motorcycle right in front of the cars with a camera on it to produce the very tight shots of the fronts of the cars as they wound through oncoming traffic not caring about any collateral damage. The shootouts too were done in very public places. No one blinked about bystanders getting mowed down. It is all about retrieving the case.

In the beginning of the movie the saying, “no honor among thieves” came into my mind and that definitely held true in RONIN. There are entertaining twists that were so fast in coming they were not even obvious to me at first what happened was actually what happened.

RONIN is a highly recommended no-nonsense action movie that holds no punches.

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