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Ronin

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

In feudal Japan, the warrior class of samurai were sworn to protect their liege lords with their lives. Those samurai whose liege was killed suffered a great shame and were forced to wander the land, looking for work as hired swords or bandits. These masterless warriors were no longer referred to as samurai - they were known by another name: such men were called ronin.

Sam (Robert De Niro) is an American hired, along with an international team of covert operatives, to steal a mysterious but well-protected briefcase. With international tensions relaxed, their destinies are uncertain and their loyalties up for grabs to the highest bidder. None of them knows the identity of their employer, the true motives of anyone else in the group or the contents of the briefcase.

The one thing that is clear is that some will die for it and they all will kill for it.

Persons of interest

  • Robert De Niro .... Sam
  • Jean Reno .... Vincent
  • Natascha Mcelhone .... Deirdre
  • Stellan Skarsgard .... Gregor
  • Sean Bean
  • Jonathan Pryce .... Seamus

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Shoot! Kill! Bleed! Die! Steal!

I love a good action flick and this is one of the loveable ones. Fast paced, full of intrigue and paranoia, explosions, chases, betrayals, double crosses, shootings, spybabble, conspiracies, accents and the fall of the Soviet Union.

While it's fair to say that this is a formula film, it's also fair to say that it uses the better parts of the formula to its advantage. The rising sense of tension and drama (if that's not an oxymoron for an action film) winds you up as tight as a Christian fundamentalist's bum. The car chases are horrendously fast, full of both hits and misses (in the "points for pedestrians" sense), making full use of the winding mountain terrain of nice and the claustrophobic streets of Paris.

Robert pulls in another gripping portrayal of Robert De Niro (he may well master it in a few more years) while Jean is somewhat surprisingly subdued (especially when compared to his brilliant performance in the cinematic masterpiece, The professional). Everyone else is more than adequate, presenting cinematic covert operatives in both their dimensions.

Ronin is a really intense go for guts film that's great for a night in with the boys.

Security censorship classification

M

Not for public release in Australia before date

23 August 2000
DVD retail: 27 November 2002

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