Ronin [DVD] 
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Frequently Bought Together
DVD Special Features
'Filming in the Fast Lane' making-of featurette
Feature-length commentary by director, John Frankenheimer
Original Theatrical Trailer
8-page booklet containing exclusive behind-the-scenes information
Soundtrack English 5.1
Subtitles: English/Hard of hearing English
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
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Top Customer Reviews
If you don't know what Ronin is about then prepare for a whirlwind plot, dodgy plans and wasted opportunities (by the gang, not direction), oh and probably the best car chases I've seen in the 90s. The best one being in Paris, closely followed by the one in Nice.
The film has a lot of twists and turns, and is a pleasure to watch, with De Nero, Reno and Bean this is an all star cast, with a great landscape and storyline.
The blu-ray is a total let down, only the film and the trailer is included. This is a joke as the Definitive Edition has an alternative ending, so why can't this BD? After all, it's only a 2hr film, and it's in MPEG-2 running at a steady 20Mbps - AVC would have been so much better. The uncompressed PCM is a blessing though, and it's commendable of Fox to use it. I would have liked MORE extras though, they should have included them no matter what definition they were in. The alternative ending is as good as the original, some have even argued better, so why oh why did they omit it?
Not a very good BD, if you have a passion for this film, then get it, it's all you could ask for movie wise. Otherwise if you want extras, and are not fussed about HD then do get the Definitive Edition, which is nearly a tenner cheaper and richer in content. The difference between the two transfer wise is noticeable, but only to the avid eye, and the sound is obviously better on blu-ray.
4/5 for the film, 2/5 for the blu-ray extras, 4/5 for HD transfer.
If you don't have it, buy it by all means, it is a great film. But if you are thinking of upgrading from dvd I would save your cash.
A great deal of the action takes place at high speed on either very narrow urban roads, or wildly twisting mountain stretches that lack the same manner of safety barriers we are accustomed to in The USA, that make the chase scenes all the more amazing. The director and other key players who made the film have racing backgrounds which allowed them to bring a type of realism that goes beyond the typical Hollywood chase.
Jean Reno, Natascha Mcelhone, Stellan Skarsgard, Sean Bean, and Jonathan Pryce all make for a wonderful ensemble cast. The chase is for a case, and the cast that is assembled are allegedly a team in the hunt for a box that no one knows the contents of. The traditional players like the Russians are involved, the CIA, and then the new Russians along with the Irish, and members of agencies that either are active or are not, you never know until the film ends. And even when it does, the DVD offers an alternate ending that changes in a very dramatic manner how the film you just watched concluded.
"Ronin", is a very good film, a definite cut above the average, and well worth the one minute and two hours of your time it will occupy.
However, to discontinue the original 1-disc version of the DVD in favour of this 2-disc "Special" edition has been a terrible idea.
The special features simply aren't worthy of having their own disc, this has simply been a way for the studios to re-release a 6 year old film at a premium price.
If you can still find the original 1-disc version, save yourself some money, and go for that instead.
Director Frankenheimer made some classic movies, but also some Turkeys. Ronin amongst his last few is probably the filmakers best.
Equally star Deniro has made good and bad over his long career, where Ronin sits in his history is as with all things film related subjective, but out of his action thriller movies certainly this film has to be right up there amongst the best of them, and unlike the mesmerising Heat (which in terms of ice cool dialougue and underworld character study Ronin has some common ground with)he's the good guy, hero of the piece.
Utilising an all star cast, with memorable support actors and a script from David Mamet (he treated it under a pseudonym) on fine form with a quotable number of dialogue scenes, theres really not much of weak link.
Perhaps the story is overly simple, as a bunch of mixed mercenaries are hired to grab a mysterious case, double crossed and on the hunt for it. There is of course more to it, but that's the bare bones.
The point of the film is not really having an over twisty plot, but the tension, the build up and of course the gritty action.
The film is old school, stripped back film making, utilizing the french locations to great effect, great sound and set designs.
In an era of over CGI'd action, endless runtimes and numerous sequels, from a retrospective viewing experience Ronin is a masterclass in thriller filmmaking.
Oh and its got a couple of car chases, which are alright.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
De niro at his best and have watched it so many times I have lost count ! If you love action films then you need this. And delivery was quick.Published 11 days ago by dean fury
A GREAT FILM TOP ACTION AND STUNTS WELL WORTH THE MONEY AN IDEAL SHOP.Published 1 month ago by THOMAS MCLAUGHLIN
Action packed with thrilling car chases with a good mix of beautiful people and continental architecture. Robert de Niro was believable in his role. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Caballero
A brilliant film with a great cast. Jean Reno is a good actor and for me, the best in the film. Watch and enjoy the car chases.Published 3 months ago by E A James