Ronin (1998) / Thriller-Action

MPAA rated : R for strong violence and some language
Running time: 122 min.

Cast: Robert Deniro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgard, Sean Bean, Skipp Sudduth
Director: John Frankenheimer
Screenplay: J.D. Zeik, David Mamet
Review published Ocober 3, 1998

The Japanese word for a masterless samurai is "Ronin". Fittingly enough, a group of international mercenary covert op specialists are employed by a mysterious underground spy organization to obtain a suitcase they do not know the contents of. This suitcase must be had before it is sold to the Russians. The suitcase is obtained, but one of the members of the Ronin team double-crosses them by switching cases and the chase is on.

John Frankenheimer, known for his deft direction of car chases such as The French Connection, does a brilliant job with some of the most breathtaking car chases in movie history. The rest of the nonchase scenes aren't bad either, with a great cast and beautiful authentic European locations. Terrific action, nice Hitchcockian touches like the public assassination scene and the oft-used McGuffin. Notably the film also contains three former Bond villians -- Jonathan Pryce (Tomorrow Never Dies), Sean Bean (GoldenEye), and Michel Lonsdale (Moonraker). A good action movie made with intelligence.

 Qwipster's rating:

1998 Vince Leo