Monday, February 9, 2009

Movie Journal: Ronin

Ronin are samurai whose lord has been slain while they went on living. They are warriors without a master, men and women with skills and abilities that are no longer under control. These are the kinds of people that the story of Ronin focuses on, and they are so interesting and different from normal people and the kinds of guys you usually see in movies that it's hard not to thoroughly enjoy it merely for it's genuine novelty.

If I really had to compare, I'd say Ronin is a lot like the 2003 The Italian Job meets The Bourne Identity. Although, both those movies came out years after Ronin did. In fact, I wouldn't think it too presumptuous to say that perhaps those movies were somewhat influenced by this one. In it, many trained killers and outcasts of various organizations(such as the CIA and KGB) gather together to plan the theft of an extremely high-priced object. This object is in the hands of a group of people who keep it in a small metal case, and just about every major character in the film wants it.

Ronin has no shortage of deep characters, intriguing plot twists, satisfying action, and clever dialogue. In one part, Sean Bean's character taunts Robert De Niro's by asking him if he's worried about saving his own skin, to which De Niro replies, "Yeah, it covers my body." Also, it's probably worth mentioning that Ronin features the most intense car chase sequence I've ever witnessed, and it's worth checking out for that aspect alone.

Ronin's final act, while not overflowing with over-the-top action and effects, presents not only a series of exciting twists after another, but also a bizarre revelation of the main character's true motives in this game. If you enjoy a diversely satisfying plot that knows how to build and present action, and you haven't yet seen this movie, you owe it to yourself big time.

9 out of 10

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