After watching this film, I sat back and realized I'd been on the edge of my
seat the entire time, and my hands were gripping the armrests. Looking back on
this, I can't for the life of me figure out what it is about this particular
movie that so engrossed me.
Ronin are samurai who have no master. Modern Ronin appear to be men trained in
arts such as espionage, assassination, and combat who have no country to serve.
Therefore, they choose to line their own pockets. Five such men are hired by an
irish woman who goes only by the name of Dierdre. They are hired to steal a
silver briefcase from a band of men, and deliver it to her. The plan hardly
goes off without a hitch since none of the men trust each other. One of them
grabs the case for himself with the intent of selling it to the highest bidder.
The remaining men, led by Sam go after him in an attempt to get the case, and
thus their money.
Let me say right now, that I'm not entirely sure how to go about reviewing this
film. It sounds like so many other typical action movies, complete with some
great looking car chases and a whole lot of explosions. However, there is
something strangely different about this one. More enthralling. I'm sure part
of the movie's charm is the presence of De Niro and Reno, two wonderful actors.
There is nothing even remotely resembling character development, but this
strangely adds to the story. It makes these men more mysterious and dangerous.
A lot of things are never adequately explained, such as why the group is
attacked in one of the first scenes involving them, and to warn everyone right
now, we never discover the contents of the much sought after case. Also worth
noting, Stellan Skarsgard is quite good as the cold blooded Gregor, but there
is an early scene in which he demonstrates his amazing reflexes for no apparent
reason since we never see them used in the rest of the film.
So, a few pointless scenes are present, but the majority of the film is quite
well done, and the car chases are enthralling. For some great action, good
acting, and a rather bizzare plot, Ronin earns four stars.
Copyright © 2000 John Beachem