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RONIN. Noun, historical. A samurai who no longer serves a daimyo, or feudal lord.
From director John Frankenheimer (Reindeer Games, The Manchurian Candidate) comes Ronin, a pulse-pounding, action-packed crime thriller featuring an all-star cast headlined by Robert De Niro (Taxi Driver, Heat) and Jean Reno (Léon: The Professional).
On a rain-swept night in Paris, an international crack team of professional thieves assembles, summoned by a shady crime syndicate fronted by the enigmatic Deirdre (Natascha McElhone, The Devil s Own). Their mission: to steal a heavily guarded briefcase from armed mobsters, its contents undisclosed. But what begins as a routine heist soon spirals into chaos, with the group beset by a series of double-crosses and constantly shifting allegiances, and it falls to world-weary former CIA strategist Sam (De Niro) and laconic Frenchman Vincent (Reno) to hold the mission together.
A latter-day return to form for Frankenheimer, the film evokes the same gritty milieu as classic 70s crime fare like The French Connection, in addition to anticipating the early 21st century trend towards more grounded, realistic action movies, exemplified by the likes of the Bourne franchise. Arrow Video is proud to present Ronin in a brand new, cinematographer-approved 4K restoration, allowing this jewel in the crown of 90s thriller cinema to shine like never before.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
Robert De Niro stars as an American intelligence operative adrift in irrelevance since the end of the Cold War--much like a masterless samurai, aka "ronin". With his services for sale, he joins a renegade, international team of fellow covert warriors with nothing but time on their hands. Their mission, as defined by the woman who hires them (Natascha McElhone), is to get hold of a particular suitcase that is equally coveted by the Russian mafia and Irish terrorists. As the scheme gets underway, De Niro's lone wolf strikes up a rare friendship with his French counterpart (Jean Reno), gets into a more-or-less romantic frame of mind with McElhone and asserts his experience on the planning and execution of the job--going so far as to publicly humiliate one team member (Sean Bean) who is clearly out of his league. The story is largely unremarkable--there's an obligatory twist midway through that changes the nature of the team's business--but legendary filmmaker John Frankenheimer (Seconds, The Manchurian Candidate) leaps at the material, bringing to it an honest tension and seasoned, breathtaking skill with precision-action direction. The centrepiece of the movie is an honest-to-God car chase that is the real thing: not the how-can-we-top-the-last-stunt cartoon nonsense of Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon) but a pulse-quickening, kinetic dance of superb montage and timing. In a sense, Ronin is almost Frankenheimer's self-quoting version of a John Frankenheimer film.There isn't anything here he hasn't done before but it's sure great to see it all again. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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