A film by John Frankenheimer. Starring Robert
DeNiro, Jean Reno, Stellan Skarsgard, Natascha McElhone.
Get Ronin on DVD from Amazon.com,
In feudal Japan, the Samurai were sworn to protect their liege-lords
their lives. Those Samuari whose liege was killed suffered great shame
and they were forced to wander the land, looking for work as hired swords
or bandits. Such men were called Ronin.
John Frankenheimer's film does not take place in Japan, but in today's
Paris. The cast is impressive: Robert de Niro, Jean Reno, Sean Bean, Jonathan
Pryce and, in a small part as a Russian ice princess, former East German
Olympic and World Championship gold medalist Katarina Witt. Young actress
Natascha McElhone is convincing in her role as a Northern Ireland terror
group member. She had a coach to teach her to speak with a Northern Irish
dialect. The real sensation in Ronin is Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard
in the role of Gregor. Robert de Niro and Jean Reno, two of my favourite
actors, look very pale besides him.
The film about a group of specialists with the mission to get a secret
case with unknown content on behalf of an Irish group focuses on the interactions
between the members of the hired "Ronin" and on spectacular car chases.
In total, Frankenheimer, a former car racer, had 80 cars deliberately crashed
during the film-making. All scenes are real, there were no digital computer-generated
gimmicks used in Ronin. Frankenheimer does not believe that violence
happens in slow motion. Therefore, all the shooting scenes take place in
The film is cut in jumps in time. There are no off-voice explanations.
Moviegoers are rushed into scenes and learn from the beginning through
the dialogues who is who. "The film editing is intended to make you uneasy,"
Frankenheimer says in his comments on Ronin (an interesting special
feature of the DVD, covering the whole movie). Something is happening,
but you are aware that things are not the way they seem to be.
Director John Frankenheimer, by a special process that reduces primary
colours and exagerates the black, had all colours muted. In addition, no
actor wears bright clothes. All that enhances the movie's film noir feeling.
Despite all good intentions, Ronin has some too calculated cheap
elements in it. As stated in the beginning, the film is above all worth
watching for the impressive acting by Stellan Skarsgard.
Ronin. A film by John
Frankenheimer. Starring Robert DeNiro, Jean Reno, Stellan Skarsgard, Natascha
McElhone. Get Ronin on DVD from Amazon.com,
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