Bad/Awesome Flixxx Review: Ronin (1998)
"Yeah. I once removed a guy's appendix with a grapefruit spoon." - Sam
"Tell me about an ambush. I ambushed you with a cup of coffee!" - Sam
"No questions. No answers. That's the business we're in. You just accept it and move on. Maybe that's lesson number three." - Vincent
Man, this has always been one of my favorite chase films. I saw this in the theater back in 98. Some counter intelligence spy vs spy- "get the suitcase" type shit with insane car chases through Nice and Paris. Stellar cast equals an awesome ensemble flick too. Robert DeNiro, Sean Bean, Jean Reno, 2 other dudes and an Irish chick star in RONIN!!!
We start off with DeNiro- he plays a dude named Sam who is creeping around outside of a bar. He's very wary of meeting up here in Paris with this Irish chick and this French dude, and some other dude. They were all hired by some "man in a wheelchair" to pull off some kind of job. The Irish chick (Deirdre) is supposed to be their contact but over the course of the next thirty minutes we find out that she knows fuck all about what they're doing there, or at least she's TELLING THEM FUCK ALL. DeNiro questions her relentlessly because as we also come to learn, he is a total professional and is not to be fucked with. They meet up with a Swedish dude and Sean Bean. Sean Bean's character acts much the way he did in the first LORD OF THE RINGS flick. He's cocky and arrogant, and in this case at least, he is completely full of shit and gets called on it. Basically, Deirdre tells them they have to intercept this case from a bunch of armed dudes and they'll have to do it while driving. That's about all she tells them. They start to plan the mission by getting the equipment they need: cars, guns, shit like that... and then while buying guns they end up having to kill the dealers who were gonna fuck them over, and Sam sees right away that Sean Bean is a chicken shit fraud who'll get them killed. They end up going on a chase through Paris to avoid the cops and barely get out without getting caught. Meanwhile Deirdre meets up with her boss Seamus, who is in the IRA. He tells her the Russians with the briefcase are gonna make the deal soon and they need to get a move on.
So the next day they're making a plan and Sam calls out Sean Bean on his bullshit and they tell him to kick rocks and then they split to Nice. When they get there the team sets up camp near the hotel where the Russian dudes are staying. Sam wants to get a closer look so he takes Deirdre out and they pose as a couple and Sam pulls some sweet moves to get super up close and take pics of the bad guys and sees that they're pros. Then he pulls even smoother moves by making out with Deirdre so as to stay covert and hide from the coppers. Then the next day, Sam and his team ambush the unsuspecting Russians and we get a 20 plus minute machine gun car chase through the countryside and Old Town Nice and down into the Port. At this point, the Swedish dude fucks them all over and steals the case for himself and completely bails without a trace!! At this point it gets a bit complicated as any good espionage movie would. A lot of people fucking other dudes over, some people using other people's weaknesses to their advantage. It really turns out to be a movie about the IRA and the Russian mob and an important briefcase and those who get tangled up in the web and the fallout of who is willing to go exactly how far it takes to possess it.
Swedish dude tries to sell to a buddy from the KGB. KGB wants to fuck him over. Swede kills him. Swede contacts Russian mob leader. Says he'll sell it to the IRA if mob doesn't pay 3 or 4 times what they were already gonna give for it. Mob leader says cool. Sam's team tracks Swede and a heavy gun battle goes down. Swede escapes but is captured by Seamus (IRA leader). He takes Deirdre with him too. So we find out she's crooked. Sam saves Vincent (Jean Reno) but is wounded badly and Vincent takes him to see this weird dude who paints little samurai models. Sam sews himself up while the weird dude tells him the story of the old Ronin's who killed their betrayers and then committed seppuku on themselves after it was over. I'm not sure what they were trying to get out of that. None of the guys kill themselves after seeking revenge. I wondered if they were going to when I saw it in the theater, but subsequently I've never gotten it. I guess it just sounded cool. "Yeah, fuckin' Ronin, man." HA!
So the IRA dude figures out that the Swede mailed the case to himself, they go to pick it up and Sam & Vincent are on their asses. Another high speed chase through Paris. Then they figure out the Russians pulled a switcheroo on them and that mob guys girlfriend is a big time figure skater. The case is a fucking figure skate box, so they go see the chick perform and find the Swede dead after threatening to kill them for the case. As soon as the mob guy drops the Swede, a sniper drops the mob guys girlfriend WHILE SHES SKATING causing the whole arena to freak out and split. In the ensuing chaos Seamus kills the mob guy, steals the case and Sam reveals to Deirdre that he's actually working for the CIA and she should high tale it. He let her go after she had fucked him over so badly that he could've been killed several times over. That's love yall. Anyway, a few more introspective perhaps philosophical things happen, but all in all, that's the story on this one. Should you see it? If you love car chase movies and/or spy films, this is highly highly recommended partner.
Thursday, February 6, 2014