If two words sum up Ronin its these – ‘car’ and ‘chase’. This is a film that will be remembered for its frantic fast-paced car chases, mainly because it doesn’t have much else going for it. Despite the exciting sounding plot, this is a no frills thriller relying on chases and reliable actors rather than explosions or epic-scale action. The actors are all skilled, though the standout of the cast would have to be Natasha McElhorne (“The Truman Show”) as the Irish woman who hires the five operatives for the job.
I’ve never been a big De Niro fan but I liked him in this more than other recent films he has done, while Jean Reno makes up for “Godzilla” with his supporting role. “Ronin” tries following the constant and innumerate twists element that made “Wild Things” so wickedly enjoyable. However at least with “Wild Things” you could basically follow what was happening, “Ronin” gets too confusing fairly quickly and so the twists aren’t shocking.
There’s also a mystery element about the contents of the case they’re all pursuing, and the payoff will likely leave you pissed upon leaving the theatre but later I think you’ll realise it was the best choice. Plotwise its pretty standard, though like I said there’s car chases across mountain roads, city streets, Paris tunnels (didn’t see any royal cars in those scenes), and some exciting gunfights to keep things spicy. It’s those elements that make this a thriller worth seeing, though don’t expect much more than that.