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Movie of the Day – Ronin

Posted on the 23 June 2012 by Plotdevice39 @PlotDevices

Today’s post is both a special one and also an easy one since this evenings events sparked this movie in my mind and I just had to post it.  During my nightly walk around the neighborhood of Westport, me and my dog Dexter witnessed a high speed chase through the residential area of town.  It was pretty interesting and dangerous being literally just 30 feet from a beat up suburban driving down a one way street doing 75 with 4 police cars and a helicopter following by.  I have seen numerous Worlds Wildest Police Chases and I hate to say that the getaway driver never wins.  Only in the movies will you see someone outrun the police and copters following them.  So I know this guy ain’t Jason Statham, so yeah, he got caught.  But then this got me to revisit some movies with amazing chase scenes and Ronin shot right to the top of the list.

Movie of the Day – Ronin

In Paris, Irish organizer Deidre (Natascha McElhone) assembles a team to grab a mysterious briefcase from criminals. They are never told who hired them or the true identity of their targets. The hired specialists: Former CIA officer Sam (Robert De Niro), former Euro intelligence agent Vincent (Jean Reno), German electronics expert Gregor (Stellan Skarsgard), driver Larry (Skip Sudduth), and British weapons wrangler Spence (Sean Bean). After a Seine shootout, the action moves to the South of France, with a recon mission in Cannes, and a chase that brings everyone to Nice. Inevitable betrayals ensue, along with more pursuits. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

Ronin is a sweet little throwback to those old 1960s international crime capers that were more about style rather than substance.  Boasting a rather strong cast with De Niro, Reno, Skarsgard and Sean Bean, it is a bit sad that the script itself wasn’t a bit sharper in terms of dialog and going back and forth between characters.  It is missing that devious sense of suspicion amongst the thieves and criminals, which is a shame considering the talent that is present on screen.

While I lament that lack of bravado that comes with the cast, De Niro does do the best he can with the script with his stoic brooding, but all of the acting is forgiven by one of the most memorable car chases put to screen.  Brawn, metal, steel, muscle. frenetic, adrenaline filled, fuel injected action is what that chase scene is all about and it does bring this movie to the forefront of the action, car junkies mind.  If it wasn’t for this chase scene, this would just be a middle of the road film in De Niro’s career.  You know what, just check out the scene below to see what I’m talking about.

Damn that is amazing.  Ronin is a pretty average crime caper, although it tries really hard to be a cut above the rest in terms of substance.  It wins out though for giving us an amazing car chase scene that easily makes the top 5 of any car chase list.  Still, Ronin does deliver on the action, not so much the story as it is silly with it’s “gotcha” moments and trying too hard to be clever plot.  I still applaud the action sequences as it does take it to a whole new level.

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