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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Jan 15: Ronin


Jan 15: Ronin

"A freelancing former US intelligence agent tries to track down a mysterious package that is wanted by both the Irish and the Russians."

   Ronin is a rather interesting movie, filled with great stunt driving, betrayal, violence, shootouts, and Robert De Niro. Ronin is widely considered one of the last "real" films, in that it uses all technical special effects with no CGI. Now a days, everything has to be in front of a green screen. Watching this film, made with real filming techniques, is refreshing.

That's a wrap. You can go, we'll make the movie later. 

   Robert De Niro is a former special agent and is brought on board for a heist. The plan is to simply steal a package and sell it, then walk away with thousands of dollars. Of course, since this is a movie, and there is 90+ minutes to fill, it does not go as planned. The package goes from person to person, and De Niro needs to track it down...of course, he does this with style. The car chases in Ronin are some of the best I have ever seen. The stunt driving is phenomenal and with clever camerawork, you can easily believe it is the actual actors doing the work. 

Look ma! No CGI!

  Now, Ronin is not without it's faults. Sure it has great action and a high body count (car and person), but the script is immensely lacking. The film uses many of the genre's cliches (betrayals, double agents, the "I know a guy" plot device). However, with the action as solid as it is, the script really does take second fiddle. The acting is just okay, as De Niro really just plays himself. Jean Reno, an always underrated badass, shines as his "partner". Whatever happened to that guy?


   Overall, Ronin is a nice reminder of what action movies used to be and that you don't need computers and green screens to make a good film. The action makes Ronin a fun ride, but the acting and the script drag the film behind. Each scene of dialogue is not necessarily bad, but it is really used to break up the action and to give the crew time to find new cars to wreck. The film also has quite a soft, weak ending. Enjoyable, but not incredible, Ronin is a good film to watch on a rainy Sunday. I'd recommend staying in anyways, as Ronin will make you want to drive 90mph, wherever you go. 

Sight: The driving and stunt work are done extraordinarily well, as are the car crashes and explosions. The lack of CGI use makes the film even more impressive. 
Sound: The film really lacks much of a score. The sound effects, while seemingly done well in contrast with the stunt driving, are just okay. 
Skill: Like I mentioned above, the acting is not bad, it is just nothing award worthy. De Niro plays the badass De Niro (not the shitty Fockers De Niro), and the supporting cast is solid. 
Script: The script is nothing special. 

Overall: 6.2/10

Best Quote:
Spence: "You ever kill anybody?"
Sam: "I hurt somebody's feelings once."

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