Directed by John Frankenheimer
Running Time: 2:00

What the hell was this movie about? They explained what the title meant, but forgot to tell you what the movie was about. Evidently a Ronin is a samurai warrior without a master. So I guess in Ronin, DeNiro and his buddies were supposed to be masterless warriors. However why they were warriors and why they were masterless I have no idea.

The movie starts off with DeNiro and these other people getting together. No mention is made of who they are, but we get the idea they're all some sort of hitmen who do jobs all over Paris (and I'm assuming other places). Where they came from or anything about their background is never mentioned (except we find out that DeNiro at one time was CIA). So this woman, Diedre (Natascha McElhone) is their leader, and she says they have to go get this briefcase. This is when the movie started getting annoying. First, we never, and I mean never, find out what was in that briefcase. The way people were getting killed over it, you'd think the secrets of the Universe were in there. Second, you had this mix of French, Irish, Russian, and American accents all put together, which made it very hard to follow sometimes. It's hard enough with two accents, but with four of them, trying to figure out what people were saying was, at times, impossible. Third, was it just me or did everyone seem to mumble a lot? I found myself wondering what DeNiro was talking about half the time, and with a nonsensical plot to being with, this made the movie that much more annoying.

Not to say that the acting was bad. When you could understand them, DeNiro and Jean Reno did remarkable jobs. The rest of the cast was just so-so. McElhone was just sort of there, not showing much if any emotion (and what was up with her and DeNiro getting it on in the car?). Jonathan Pryce's accent came and went as he pleased. And the rest of the cast was OK. The best (and worst) part of the movie was the two car chase scenes. I say they were the best, because they were very exciting and visually stunning. I say they were the worst because they ran way too long, especially the second one. While I really enjoyed them driving the wrong way through a lot of traffic, the scene just went on and on and on. I felt as though I could have gotten up, went to watch another movie, come back, and not have missed anything.

So overall, DeNiro and Reno were the highlights of Ronin along with most of the car chases. But the plot was weak and wasn't explained very well, and the whole briefcase thing just pissed me off. I'd probably wait to rent this one rather than see it in theaters.

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