As explained in the movie, a Ronin was a masterless samuri forced to work on his own to restore his honor
As explained in the movie, a Ronin was a masterless samuri forced to work on his own to restore his honor.
Ronin follows several ronin ex-spies. Left without direction by the end of the cold war they are forced to hire themselves out for pay. John Frankenheimer directs this action/thriller with a style that keeps the movie going at a good pace while never resorting to much of a plot. Little is told to the main characters and the viewer shares in that lack of information.
The story revolves around a plan to capture a large silver briefcase. We never learn what is in the case or why it is so needed. Well, that seemed to work in Pulp Fiction. Roger Ebert called this ploy a perfect McGuffin, a term used by Alfred Hitchcock to describe something that appears to be vital to the plot without actually contributing anything at all to it.
Ronin does have it's moments of action but most of it displays the intensity of the case. The DVD picture is clear and without fault. The sound mix is very good. The Dolby 5.1 effects are there to add to the realism, not to detract from the film.
The cast was well chosen. The lead is played by Robert De Niro. His character, an ex-CIA operative is professional, careful and imaginative. His partner in this crime is played by one of the great actors of today, Jean Reno. His underplaying of his role carries you through the slow parts of the film. The female lead is excellently portrayed by Natascha McElhone. She was in the Truman Show, Surviving Picasso and the Devil's Own. Her role is played with an attention to detail that is worth watching.
While not much in the plot department Ronin carries off the prize in entertainment value. Review by Doug MacLean of hometheaterinfo.com
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