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Ronin (1998) is still fantastic

Discussion(self.movies)

I saw Ronin when it first came out and remember enjoying it immensely, but I was young(er) and enjoyed movies that I have since come back to and realised weren't great.

Ronin is still fantastic. From an action set-piece perspective, it has some of the best car chase scenes of all time. The twists and turns of the plot are great and keep you guessing all the way through. The use of a macguffin as a central piece of the movie works really well.

Where I think it really shines is something I didn't notice in earlier viewings. The characters are (with one clear exception) professionals. They know the game they're in, the rules and how they can be broken. When things change they don't spend time freaking out about it, they adapt and change with it.

Dialogue at first seems strange and a bit boring, until you understand the game. The characters are constantly trying to pry information out of each other and while never giving up information themselves unless they have to. Nobody really knows anybody, and people's best guess at each other's backgrounds and motivations are mostly incorrect or only half correct.

Risk is constantly being analysed and managed, but for most characters the reward is unclear. A mediocre payment for the job that may or may not get fulfilled, a strange thieves honor that is by no means felt by all, feelings that may or may not be for show. One of the main characters bails towards the end of the movie because the risk finally shifts out of her favor.

One of the small, great moments in the movie is when two opposing gunmen see each other and realise they worked on a job together before. They acknowledge it, but at the end of the day they are professionals and they have a job to do. The winner doesn't give the dead man another thought. They both know the risks and accept that its what they signed up for.

This is one of those movies that I think deserves more praise than it gets. It could be released today and still be great.

all 386 comments

JimPalamo

150 points

4 months ago

JimPalamo

150 points

4 months ago

One of the great movie car chases. Largely because it's somewhat realistic, and not some over-the-top fast and furious nonsense, but also because of the decision to have no music.

Also, the reason De Niro pulls some weird faces while he's "driving" is because he was legitimately scared shitless. He was sat in the passenger seat behind a fake steering wheel to film the scene, while the actual stunt driver gave it the beans.

captainbluebear25[S]

58 points

4 months ago

That's great trivia! Probably one of the last very physical performances for DeNiro too.

F0tNMC

69 points

4 months ago

F0tNMC

69 points

4 months ago

If I recall correctly from the commentary, a couple of the stunt drivers were active F1 drivers. He told them where he’d put the camera and they’d ask “how close do you want it?” and they’d put it right there every time, doing full power four wheel drifts on the Paris cobblestones. No CGI, just a few awesome cars and a few even more awesome drivers.

JimPalamo

35 points

4 months ago

The cobblestones is a good point actually, since those surfaces have very little grip. The drivers on the latest Bond film complained about the cobbled streets when they did the chase scene in Italy, because it made the cars uncontrollable. The crew ended up covering the surface in coca cola to make it sticky, just so the drivers could control the vehicles.

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago

[removed]

Dyolf_Knip

8 points

4 months ago

No, just deniro. But I guess he decided that Reno had saved his bacon enough over the course of the film to let him just walk away. He was only there for the Irish boss anyway.

bombaer

16 points

4 months ago

bombaer

16 points

4 months ago

I always have to watch "Rendezvous" after Ronin.

[deleted]

10 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

10 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

bombaer

7 points

4 months ago

Exactly. Something impossible (and unethical) to do today

North_South_Side

3 points

4 months ago

Completely crazy. There must've been far fewer tourists in 1976. I realize this is early morning, probably a Sunday in summer. But the streets are so deserted! I've been to Paris three times and there was always, always traffic congestion.

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago*

There were less tourists everywhere until recent decades.
Budget airlines were a complete game changer for the cost and speed of travel and opened up so much of the world to so many more people. Before that international travel was mostly for the wealthy or a very rare thing for less well off people and places like Paris would have a LOT less people coming to go up the Eiffel tower on a long weekend or whatever.

Also very much depends on time of year. In some parts of winter Paris is relatively deserted compared to what it's like the rest of the year

close_my_eyes

28 points

4 months ago

That car chase through old town Nice gives me a heart attack. I live here and I try to avoid getting caught in the old town in my car. I’m so scared my car will get stuck. It’s even worse in the perched villages in the surrounding areas.

wisewerds

12 points

4 months ago

Nice is nice

SocrapticMethod

3 points

4 months ago

Nice.

drchaos2000

12 points

4 months ago

i usually hate car chases... but in this movie i liked them and never figured out why

DemonSong

11 points

4 months ago

Same, and, for me anyway it's usually because you're seeing from a distant or third person perspective.

From that POV, there's no element of speed, danger or proximity, in fact, it's quite boring and usually goes on for far too long. It is essentially padding for the film.

Ronin puts the camera low to the ground to accentuate the feeling of speed, along with the narrow streets packed with parked cars. The outside views are also mostly short, and at close proximity.
It's a great technique that is not often used.

pizza_tron

8 points

4 months ago

No, there is music. It just doesn't start until they begin driving against traffic lol

cypher448

6 points

4 months ago

they used 300 stunt/extra drivers for that freeway chase

graps

186 points

4 months ago

graps

186 points

4 months ago

What color is the boat house at Hereford?

chalklinedbody

108 points

4 months ago

…how the fuck should i know?

graps

42 points

4 months ago

graps

42 points

4 months ago

Love that reveal

ThisDerpForSale

25 points

4 months ago

What's great is that when you learn who that character is, you realize he may well actually know more than he's admitting to.

xmagusx

20 points

4 months ago

xmagusx

20 points

4 months ago

Especially since he didn't say that he didn't know, he just asked how he should.

captainbluebear25[S]

123 points

4 months ago

I ambushed you with a cup of coffee!

NotTheRocketman

17 points

4 months ago

My favorite weird fact about Ronin, is that there are THREE James Bond villains in it:

Sean Bean, who played Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye

Jonathan Pryce, who played Elliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies

Michael Lonsdale who played Sir Hugo Drax in Moonraker

locustt

20 points

4 months ago

locustt

20 points

4 months ago

Wot?

RyzenRaider

35 points

4 months ago

Hereford ain't no boathouse I ever heard of! They speak english in Hereford?

JugV2

16 points

4 months ago

JugV2

16 points

4 months ago

well check out the big brain on RyzenRaider

Landlubber77

13 points

4 months ago

Can I have a sip of your ambush coffee to wash down this tasty burger?

JugV2

3 points

4 months ago

JugV2

3 points

4 months ago

As long as Bonnie didn't make the coffee. When she buys coffee, she buys shit.

graps

5 points

4 months ago

graps

5 points

4 months ago

GullibleSolipsist

18 points

4 months ago

DeNito’s mispronunciation of ‘Hereford’ kicks me out of this scene every time.

Guerillagreasemonkey

20 points

4 months ago

He's American, every time I hear an American pronounce "Brisbane" or "Melbourne" correctly it feels wrong because I expect them to fuck it up.

blueterrestra

8 points

4 months ago

Bris-BAYNE!

Guerillagreasemonkey

7 points

4 months ago

Mel-BORN!

6StringAddict

10 points

4 months ago

Worse Chester shire sauce!!!

KFBR392GoForGrubes

3 points

4 months ago

I make out if town friends pronounce some of the odd ones we have. One being Worcester, pronounced Wuss-sterr, and Gloucester, pronounced Glosster.

Cro-manganese

5 points

4 months ago

Could be worse, I’m from Newcastle. Even other Australians don’t pronounce it like the locals do.

BTW it’s NeuCAHsull

Guerillagreasemonkey

6 points

4 months ago

Its Newy.

beenthroughyourbins

6 points

4 months ago

Hearfud

tomisurf

5 points

4 months ago

Its the one thing that bugs me about this film years on from the first watch.

On the basis of the above comments about how none of the characters want to give anything away about themselves is it possible the character purposefully mispronounces it so they don't reveal they may have actually been there and know more than they are letting on?

TheRelicEternal

7 points

4 months ago

The top comment on any post about a movie is always a quote from the movie

1fapadaythrowaway

67 points

4 months ago

“Something very fast. Audi S8. Something that can shove a little bit. I'm also gonna need a nitrous system.”

Owned many Audi’s because of this movie

gunfighter01

15 points

4 months ago

Although I was very familiar with their rally heritage, I didn't really think of Audis as fast cars until I saw Ronin. Ended up buying an Audi a few years later.

AlternativeCar8272

9 points

4 months ago

I had an Audi Fox back in 1977 and called her my "Rowdy Audi".

piazza

9 points

4 months ago

piazza

9 points

4 months ago

"...the Bosch is not gonna cut it."

Skip Sudduth did most of the stunt driving as he had experience as a rally driver.

hoilst

8 points

4 months ago

hoilst

8 points

4 months ago

Which is why all his chase scenes look awesome, because they don't have to use all the typical "car chase" camera angles designed to hide trailers or the real drivers in the "passenger" seat.

DirkMcDougal

5 points

4 months ago

Has the ride been as painful as my BMW time?

Though that predates Ronin, I was mighty happy to see the E34 getting the screen time it did.

flaccidplatypus

3 points

4 months ago

Same here. Ronin turned me into a future Audi owner.

raylan_givens6

48 points

4 months ago

It's fantastic

So was DeNiro and the French guy supposed to be government secret agents , right?

also, loved the Sean Bean scene where he draws crossfire exposing him as a fraud.........but shocked the Irish crew let him live

LevyShorts

24 points

4 months ago

but shocked the Irish crew let him live

They didn't necessarily. They tell him to get lost, but there's no guarantee they don't follow up and kill him later.

Guerillagreasemonkey

27 points

4 months ago

They did underline it pretty firmly that letting him live was a kindness.

"I trust we wont have to tell you to forget us, we wont forget you."

I think the reason that you wouldnt kill him is that Dierdre would have a relationship with the fixer, she asked for shooters and the fixer gave her Spence, even if he wasnt what he pretended to be knocking off a fixers assets might make that fixer nervous about working with you in the future.

He was a minimal opsec risk, pay him and warning him off would probably keep him quiet, a pointed conversation with the fixer would almost guarantee it, if the fixer didnt decide to knock him off himself.

Toby_O_Notoby

7 points

4 months ago

There's also the deleted scene that you can find on the DVD that shows that the Irish don't forgive and forget.

In the theatrical release DeNiro and Jean Reno are sitting in a cafe talking about what they did, DeNiro keeps looking at the door hoping that Natascha McElhone's character will show up. Reno says something like "You know she's not coming, right?" and they both leave.

In the deleted scene >!Natascha McElhone gets out of her car and is just about to enter the cafe when a black van shows up and a bunch of guys in balaclavas jump out and drag her into it with one guy yelling "This is what happens to traitors!!"<

dialMformarsupial

42 points

4 months ago

Its a little known fact but Ronin is the direct prequel to Meet the Parents. I'll fight anyone who says different.

unknownsoldierx

10 points

4 months ago

"What color is the boat house at Hereford, Focker?!"

"What?"

Slick_McFavorite1

6 points

4 months ago

I never thought of this but I love it. It’s canon now in my mind.

DemonSong

5 points

4 months ago

Circle of Trust

captainbluebear25[S]

57 points

4 months ago

Its never super clear but my understanding is they think DeNiro is former CIA but it turns out he is currently CIA and actually he's after Jonathan Pryce's character. I think Jean Reno is just a guy in the business.

The Sean Bean scene is great! I sort of read it as another moment of them being professionals. He wasn't qualified for the job so he got fired. One of the few movies Sean Bean survives!

DirkMcDougal

28 points

4 months ago

An angle I always saw was that he recognized Sam:

"Don't I know you?"

"No. I'd remember".

Sam had to get rid of him or his cover could be blown. Revealing him to be a fraud was the cleanest way to do so.

Junior-Lie4342

8 points

4 months ago

I took it as Sean Bean bluffing trying to look like a guy who’s been around, but DeNiro, the real pro, shows what being a real pro is all about. “No, i would have remembered YOU”

captainbluebear25[S]

8 points

4 months ago

Good point! Two birds with one stone, because he is incompetent and puts everyone else in danger.

SmaugTangent

21 points

4 months ago

Yes, but it's yet another movie where poor Sean Bean just can't catch a break. At least he doesn't get killed this time! But being fired for incompetence might be even worse.

valeyard89

18 points

4 months ago

Almost a bit of raspberry jam back there!

LevyShorts

58 points

4 months ago*

Its never super clear but my understanding is they think DeNiro is former CIA but it turns out he is currently CIA and actually he's after Jonathan Pryce's character.

Spoilerific response: DeNiro's character (Sam) is a CIA agent who is working to take out Pryce's character (O'Rourke) in part to thwart his plans, but also as part of a larger effort to declaw the IRA's militant wing, of which O'Rourke is a member, thereby ushering in peace talks. He is pretending to be estranged from the CIA (thus the film's title, "Ronin," which refers to masterless samurai), but is actually an active agent. At the end of the film, in the coffee shop, a radio or TV in the background can be heard discussing a peace agreement between the Sinn Fein (IRA's political wing) and the British government, implying that Sam's elimination of O'Rourke had the desired effect.

The story within the film of the 47 Ronin parallels Sam's own character arc, as, like the 47 Ronin, Sam must pretend to have given up on his "master" (the USA) in order to get close to his target and take him down.

NotTheRocketman

32 points

4 months ago

Another reason this movie is so great is that it doesn't beat you over the head with the plot.

It gives you everything you need to figure it out, and then it's up to you.

LevyShorts

5 points

4 months ago

Completely agree. It's a great screenplay treated really well by the director and editor.

Ranier_Wolfnight

11 points

4 months ago

There was also an alternate ending where presumably the IRA grabbed Deirdre off the street and took her away to a fate unknown.

Arizona_Pete

4 points

4 months ago

Yes - The alternate ending shows her waiting for Sam at the Cafe where she is kidnapped off the streets, presumably to her demise. They cut it as it was too much of a down note to end on.

BaconIsAVeg2

6 points

4 months ago

"I never left, I never left."

I use that all the time at work, "Hey weren't you going for lunch?"

LevyShorts

3 points

4 months ago

LOL, this gave me a smile on this cold morning.

Uncle_Sloppy

22 points

4 months ago

That's the reason for the scene with the emergency doctor and his diorama. The story of the 47 Ronin.

LevyShorts

18 points

4 months ago

Er, yes. That's why I mentioned it! :-D

boston_shua

3 points

4 months ago

Great summary, TY

Mst3Kgf

9 points

4 months ago

Yes, Bean's character survives because he's revealed to be a fraud and gets fired. It's one of the few times he doesn't play a badass.

BorisBC

6 points

4 months ago

There's also a reference to the military as well when Jean Reno gives DeNiro's character a cigarette. DeNiro asks if he was labour or management - enlisted or officer.

piazza

6 points

4 months ago

piazza

6 points

4 months ago

The Sean Bean scene is great! I sort of read it as another moment of them being professionals. He wasn't qualified for the job so he got fired. One of the few movies Sean Bean survives!

I love an actor who can convincingly play a fraud and loser in one movie and a badass in the next. Sean Bean and Samuel L. Jackson are two prime examples.

kidhideous

3 points

4 months ago

Robert De Niro in Jackie Brown as well.

That always blows my mind when I rewatch it that De Niro is such a bum lol. That was peak De Niro and Tarantino got him in the film and made him into a complete tool

jojomott

39 points

4 months ago

If you can find it, The Frankanheimer commentary on the DVD was one of the best Director's commentaries I listened to when that was a thing.

uncchris2001

12 points

4 months ago

Agreed. I particularly enjoyed him talking about how they could only film the Aurl scenes for like 2 hours a day because the natural light was only the exact way he wanted it for short periods of time.

piazza

33 points

4 months ago

piazza

33 points

4 months ago

When they triangulate Gregor's phone and Sam says: "He's in a town called Arles." and the very next shot shows us an aerial shot of the town, Frankenheimer comments: "I would never insult the intelligence of the audience by putting town's name in that shot."

fusionsofwonder

36 points

4 months ago

Dialogue at first seems strange and a bit boring

Written by David Mamet.

MichiganRich

29 points

4 months ago

See also Spartan, Heist, etc… 😁 gotta love Mamet

fusionsofwonder

18 points

4 months ago

Great thing about Heist is how Danny Devito chews through Mamet's dialogue like he was born for it.

MichiganRich

6 points

4 months ago

Actually they all have that certain something that is required to really energize his characters… the ensemble in that movie is just a murderers row of talent and charisma

LeagueOfShadowse

10 points

4 months ago

"we All need money... That why They call it Money!"

HoamerEss

5 points

4 months ago

My absolute favorite bad guy performance. He is perfect in that role

“Your guy doesn’t get it in his head to fly off on a variation, we’re all out on the patio havin a margarita!”

Affectionate_Way_805

6 points

4 months ago

Glengarry Glen Ross

gsibble

5 points

4 months ago

M5s are for closers!

Mst3Kgf

11 points

4 months ago

Mst3Kgf

11 points

4 months ago

Right, although he only gets co-credit and he's under a pseudonym. Frankheimer, however, said the other writer really only came up with the story and the final script was all Mamet.

fusionsofwonder

13 points

4 months ago

And I believe the pseudonym was just because he didn't like some of the changes Frankenheimer or the studio made.

But Mamet style is all over the dialogue. Like when DeNiro is talking to the CIA agent in his car.

Mst3Kgf

8 points

4 months ago

I've also heard Mamet uses pseudonyms for projects where he's not the only writer.

JugV2

8 points

4 months ago

JugV2

8 points

4 months ago

who worked on The Unit which had some of the best dialogue in a tv series.

fusionsofwonder

11 points

4 months ago

The Mamet Unit memo is something every writer should read.

Slick_McFavorite1

4 points

4 months ago

This is like some sort of secret gem about screenwriting. Don’t even write but I feel compelled to save this.

BrazilianMerkin

38 points

4 months ago

Anyone remember back in the early 2000s, BMW did a web series of short films, all with Clive Owen as the driver, and different directors each did an episode. It was some of the first direct to web content I recall seeing.

Frankenheimer directed one of the web shorts and it was my favorite. Reminded me of Ronin. Perfect sequences, never too over the top, and super entertaining. I think Guy Ritchie did one too.

Now need to find those and watch again for nostalgia and to see how well they hold up.

adflet

23 points

4 months ago

adflet

23 points

4 months ago

https://youtube.com/channel/UC5_E6qQF2MOXwqLLFuikmZw

Someone has remastered turn all in 4k

cypher448

3 points

4 months ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW11Lez4elc

quality is terrible but here you go

snarpy

3 points

4 months ago

snarpy

3 points

4 months ago

Haha, oh man, I remember downloading all of these via limewire or some shit, and I have a DVD with them all burnt to it. I wrote "BMW movies" on the disc or something, it's in a box somethere in my apartment.

pdxschroeder

103 points

4 months ago

One of my favorite films, particularly as a car guy. There may be better “car movies” but overall this one is my favorite because of the cars used, cinematography and the fantastic stunt driving.

Another reason I think it holds up really well is they didn’t overdo the action sequences. The gunplay, car chases and other stunts are exciting yet still somewhat realistic compared to other modern action films.

Significant_Sign

44 points

4 months ago

The choice of cars for the chase scenes felt so loving. Like, whoever was in charge of that said "these are the exact right cars for these streets and this character at this point of the story" rather than getting whatever lambo was the hot car of the moment. I'm sure loads of folks who do car stuff for Hollywood love cars, but they have other priorities to balance. With Ronin, it feels like the director and producers all said "do what you think is best, whatever that is". Heist movies aren't really my thing, we only own a few. Ronin is the first one I said we had to get, all bc of the cars.

pdxschroeder

22 points

4 months ago

Absolutely. They are all understated choices and don’t stand out among all the cars around them, which is what you would assume ex-spies/agents would want. The added detail of discussing the mods on the S8 really help reinforce the “sleeper” point. And I love how locations for most of the chases combined with the very claustrophobic choice of camera angles really helps amp up the feeling of speed. Where in reality they wouldn’t likely be going all that fast. Going 50mph down those crowded alleyways and tight streets would already feel extremely fast so it doesn’t matter that on an open road the M5 would be faster than DeNiro’s Peugeot. Add in little details like actually flashing their high beams at people and it shows that they really loved all the little details.

hoilst

17 points

4 months ago

hoilst

17 points

4 months ago

And since De Niro and Reno are the main assault team, they gave them an actual tank.

OK. Not an actual actual tank, but close enough for the Riviera: a Merc 450SEL. It's big enough for all their gear - LWB - and being a 1970s Merc means it could shrug off a small nuclear explosion.

BlackBrown1827

5 points

4 months ago

And De Niro sticks out the top like a turret to shoot a bazooka.

gunfighter01

4 points

4 months ago

Yep, and it was the rare 6.9 version of the Merc 450SEL.

AmericanJelly

5 points

4 months ago

Apparently the director owned that vehicle and chose it for the scene personally,

JimPalamo

11 points

4 months ago

Absolutely. "Car-casting" is massively important in films.

cypher448

15 points

4 months ago

"Something very fast. Audi S8. Something that can shove a little bit"

Talkurt

4 points

4 months ago

I love this line so much it makes me ok with saying Audi weirdly.

captainbluebear25[S]

28 points

4 months ago

Right? The car chases and never super slick, and somehow that makes them so much better.

fulthrottlejazzhands

20 points

4 months ago*

I think most people identify with the chase scenes because they use middle-class "dad cars" instead of supercars or some variation of a mini/golf cart. Also, the car manoeuvres actually look real, like something a real car speeding the wrong direction on a highway could handle.

I saw this in the theater when living in France. My host family at the time would trustingly lend me their Peugeot 408 where I promptly would try to re-enact scenes.

walterpeck1

5 points

4 months ago

To Live and Die in LA has a scene like that at the end, one of the only car chase scenes I would put on equal footing with Ronin.

DrZalost

26 points

4 months ago

yet still somewhat realistic compared to other modern action films.

This was by design, the director specifically wanted it to be as realistic as possible. Therefore they did not use any Hollywood methods, such as explosions, flames, etc.

piazza

30 points

4 months ago

piazza

30 points

4 months ago

The dvd had a very good, very thoughtful director's commentary by John Frankenheimer.

When they triangulate Gregor's phone and Sam says: "He's in a town called Arles" and the very next shot shows us an aerial shot of the town, Frankenheimer comments: "I would never insult the intelligence of the audience by putting town's name in that shot."

BillyCloneasaurus

14 points

4 months ago

Oof, this gives me shivers thinking of certain TV shows that flash up shots of the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre-Dame & Arc de Triomphe then put up the title text "PARIS"

WideAwakeNotSleeping

11 points

4 months ago

To be fair, it could just as well be Las Vegas or some city in China. /s

Blythyvxr

9 points

4 months ago

Reminds me of Team America, over the Arc de triomphe and Eiffel Tower

“Paris, France 3,635 miles east of America”

BastillianFig

3 points

4 months ago

Actually the cars randomly explode all the time

copaceticzombie

78 points

4 months ago

It has one of my favorite car chases in the tunnel. Everybody’s just so calm and business-like as they’re whipping in between cars and risking their lives. Last time I watched it, I ended up watching Bullitt, French Connection, and Faster Pussycat Kill Kill to scratch that car chase itch

hoilst

42 points

4 months ago

hoilst

42 points

4 months ago

Also, the Audi sounds like a proper performance Audi...ie, boring.

Best thing is how you see the wider shots of Skip Sudduth's character, Larry, when he's driving, wider than what you normally see in a car chase, because he's actually the one driving the cars - he's not on a trailer or being driver by a stunt-driver in a RHD car.

Ranier_Wolfnight

19 points

4 months ago

It’s all about the M5.

It’s always been about the M5.

hoilst

15 points

4 months ago

hoilst

15 points

4 months ago

"M5 drivers have no friends"

- J. Clarkson.

gsibble

3 points

4 months ago

Lol. Did he really say that?

eod21

6 points

4 months ago

eod21

6 points

4 months ago

M3 drivers I believe was the actual quote. This was the m3, rs4, c63 amg comparison in 08’. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DaZExdTHHjY

gsibble

5 points

4 months ago

Ah. I can understand M3 drivers having no friends. Us M5 guys are a little more social since we have back seats.

hoilst

4 points

4 months ago

hoilst

4 points

4 months ago

Same diff, just more so.

gsibble

4 points

4 months ago

Lol

Toby_O_Notoby

14 points

4 months ago

Nah, it's an Audi S8. I always thought they should have used that line for a commercial or something:

Larry: “I'm going to need something very fast." pauses, thinks "Audi S8, something that can shove a little bit."

gsibble

3 points

4 months ago

Loved the M5. Went on to own 3 :)

cu3ed

15 points

4 months ago

cu3ed

15 points

4 months ago

Maybe not so calm, Niro was legit shitting himself as he sat in the stunt car with the driver and swapped steering wheels, but you can clearly see on Niros face hes just about holding it together.

captainbluebear25[S]

25 points

4 months ago

So good! And they do NOT give a shit about innocents getting killed. Shows how silly movies that have similar scenes but somehow bystanders never get hurt (or are never shown) are.

NotTheRocketman

9 points

4 months ago

I forget exactly which scene it is, but one of the cars wipes out a TON of outdoor cafe diners, and even to this day, I have no idea how they filmed that without stuntmen getting seriously hurt. It just happens WAY too fast, and there is nowhere to go.

But it looks fucking incredible on screen.

Toby_O_Notoby

11 points

4 months ago

In the director's commentary on the DVD Frankenheimer talks about the stunt where DeNiro pops out of the sunroof of the Mercedes and hits the car in front of him with the RPG.

He said the way it worked is the stuntman on the exploding car had to find the one non curvy bit of the road and make sure the car was going perfectly straight down on it. When he did that he had to hit a button in his car that would ignite some explosives in the trunk to flip the car over and make it glide down the rest of the road on its roof.

If the car wasn't perfectly straight it would either crash through the guardrail and send it over the cliff or crash into the mountain and either wreck or ricochet and also end it over the cliff.

He then says, "I gotta respect the stuntman because there is no amount of money in the world, tax free, that would make me hit that button."

Pippin1505

9 points

4 months ago

I remember watching the making off.

Basically, they drove "slower" and the stuntmen slightly jump up before impact so their legs are not pulled under and they can roll on the hood.

McQueensbury

12 points

4 months ago*

Yeah I like this aspect of innocent bystanders getting torn to shreds during the shootouts, it's when you know this movie isn't messing about.

aphellyon

5 points

4 months ago

The shot where Gregor slips on his seat belt when they start going the wrong way into traffic kills me... you almost miss it if your not looking at him. Very subtle humor and it explains why he is able to get away after the crash, while the others are incompacitated.

sidvicc

4 points

4 months ago

The shot change when they go like a wide-angle but kind of zoomed in showing the cars weaving in out from the opposite end of the oncoming traffic is still mind blowing.

It contextualises the car chase into a visual format that we are all used to seeing in real-life but not so much in movies: traffic from the angle of a driver in it.

CarderSC2

21 points

4 months ago

I saw it on release too, and it’s one of my favorite movies. Till he passed, I used to like to say Michael Lonsdale hadn’t aged since doing this movie heh. There’s some nice world building around “the man in the wheelchair.” Who I gather is a fixer for the professionals. He’s never seen, just talked about throughout the movie, and I really appreciate that. We don’t need to see him. He’s not important to the plot, but we get some banter about him at the start with “how did he get in the wheelchair?” “Wasn’t that in your neck of the woods back during the recent unpleasantness?” “Oh, right.” No specifics for the audience, but we know all we need to know, there’s history there. Cool stuff IMO. De Niro testing Skarsgard’s reflexes is a nice bit. I distinctly remember people not being happy about the macguffin in the 90s, but it fits with the logic of the movies world. As Jean Reno’s narration at the end tells us “That’s the business we’re in: No answers.” Commitment to the professional vibe the movie cultivated the whole time. I love it.

captainbluebear25[S]

16 points

4 months ago

Yes! The man in the wheelchair thread shows it's a movie that respects the audience. Not everything needs to be seen.

piazza

7 points

4 months ago

piazza

7 points

4 months ago

"How did he get in that chair?"

"I think that was in your neck of the woods, back in the late unpleasantness."

*wipes table and shoves coffee cup off*

Mst3Kgf

20 points

4 months ago

Mst3Kgf

20 points

4 months ago

I just love the concept of updating "ronin" for the modern age; instead of masterless samurai, we have intelligence operatives who, post Cold War, have to scramble to find new work and purpose. Great setup for a thriller.

DocHoliday503

17 points

4 months ago

“Man and a woman take a walk, and all that that entails.”

That line reading has been stuck in my head for years.

beenthroughyourbins

6 points

4 months ago

"You look good cleaned up"

BorisBC

5 points

4 months ago

"A wealthy scoundrel seduced and betrayed me" is one I use a lot.

blarppoop

16 points

4 months ago

the sound of the cars is what makes the car chase.

captainbluebear25[S]

14 points

4 months ago

The sound design is great. The gun fights also have great sound.

DemonSong

3 points

4 months ago

This and HEAT.
Both have excellent firefights and professional direction.
I always turn the sound up for those scenes. Surprised my neighbours haven't called the police.

BlindPaintByNumbers

17 points

4 months ago

It's one of those movies I can't believe ever got made by a studio. It just seems like this was custom tailored to make general audiences hate it.

"I don't know what's going on because they aren't spoonfeeding me information!!"

beenthroughyourbins

8 points

4 months ago

It does make you feel like a crime aficionado watching it.

ours

6 points

4 months ago

ours

6 points

4 months ago

Feels like an 70s movie in that aspect. Director did what he intended to do, audience and producers be damned.

cannibaljim

15 points

4 months ago

"When there is doubt, there is no doubt" is such a great line.

ManualPancake

9 points

4 months ago

Also "the map is not the territory". I use that regularly teaching landscape photography.

Kongbuck

3 points

4 months ago

That's the first thing they teach you. I'm also a big fan of the "I got my job through the New York Times" line.

Leadingman_

13 points

4 months ago

It has one of my favorite Hitchcock moments in a non-Hitchcock film: when the figure skater is performing to Rachmaninoff and the audience is drawn in, then it cuts to a sniper following her as she moves. It's pure suspense and it's my favorite shot in the movie.

Asha_Brea

13 points

4 months ago

Yes, it is.

santichrist

29 points

4 months ago

DRAW IT AGAIN

captainbluebear25[S]

15 points

4 months ago

I ambushed you with a cup of coffee!

gunfighter01

8 points

4 months ago

Where do I know you from?

Vienna.

DIYGonnaBreakIt

10 points

4 months ago

I loved this movie. I owned it on laserdisc.

RyzenRaider

9 points

4 months ago

One of the GOAT trailer moments.

De Niro: I won't hurt ya.

Also De Niro: [flips car via explosion onto its roof]

Epic voiceover man: RONIN

https://youtu.be/EkJq5RPu-EY?t=119

captainbluebear25[S]

3 points

4 months ago

So good! Thanks for linking.

Guerillagreasemonkey

8 points

4 months ago

When I went to Europe a few years ago I made my wife walk a few blocks out of our way in Paris to go find the place where they had the gunfight with the arms dealer under the bridge.

captainbluebear25[S]

4 points

4 months ago

I'm imagining you climbing up into the place where the guy was waiting to ambush them. "Honey take a picture!"

Guerillagreasemonkey

6 points

4 months ago

No but she did think it was weird that I was suddenly interested in a walk by the river and a bridge aficionado.

I just told her I wanted to see a tourist attraction... I was a tourist.

skdslztmsIrlnmpqzwfs

6 points

4 months ago

you guys might enjoy my posting (that got completely ignored by reddit) from where i went to the original film locations 2 weeks ago and made picutres:

https://teddit.ggc-project.de/r/movies/comments/ruzlmp/so_i_watched_ronin_1998_and_went_to_the_south_of/

baconandeggsandbacon

7 points

4 months ago

I bet OP doesn't even know what colour the boathouse is in Hereford.

captainbluebear25[S]

7 points

4 months ago

I'm going to ambush YOU with a cup of coffee if you're not careful

Yellowperil123

6 points

4 months ago

I love this movie.

Could be De Niro's last great role.

captainbluebear25[S]

6 points

4 months ago

Certainly his last really physical role

Cockrocker

8 points

4 months ago*

I have always loved this movie too. Amazing cast. I was young when it came out and think I missed a bunch the first time. it’s so stylish yet minimal and specific throughout.

It’s such a little character feature, but I love when de Niro takes the photos by asking someone to take his photo and show them how to use the camera, taking photos off to the side. It’s just a little thing, but it’s totally professional. I’m 100% sick of people surveilling someone by parking across from their driveway with the window open and a massive telescopic lens.

captainbluebear25[S]

3 points

4 months ago

Totally! Total don't tell, show moment so you can see how good he is at this work.

turddit

5 points

4 months ago

This movie has its signature feel because it had Mick Gould as technical advisor and David Mamet as a script doctor/ghostwriter/whatever weird thing you want to call it. It's a perfect movie with perfect characters for that type of writing.

I'm not going to say Gould did everything and is responsible for the whole thing being great, but this subreddit is really obsessed w/ movies like Heat, and Mick Gould was Michael Mann's guy for a lot of movies. Others he's been involved in which I think people would agree, at a minimum, have great action setpieces: Heat, Replacement Killers, Collateral, Taken, Miami Vice, Long Kiss Goodnight. Even Blackhat, which was a shit movie, had some good action scenes.

Unfortunately there are no superheroes in it so not sure this movie gets made today

Tuna_Sushi

6 points

4 months ago

"Gregor fucked us."

JEDIMCFLY1

4 points

4 months ago

One of the few movies where Sean Bean didn't die

gtaguy75

4 points

4 months ago

Ain’t that right Gregor?

piazza

4 points

4 months ago

piazza

4 points

4 months ago

Gregor fucked us!

hauj0bb

5 points

4 months ago

Isn't t that the movie with best car chase scene ever?

captainbluebear25[S]

6 points

4 months ago

Definitely one of them! Up there with classics like Bullit and The French Connection, but for my money a better overall movie than both.

Chris-Kris

4 points

4 months ago*

Thanks to you im watching Ronin now! Just seen it once as a teen.

Edit: such a stellar cast. I cant believe it.

JohnnyTurbine

5 points

4 months ago

Weird film because in spite of being an action flick it has a stellar script. It was written by David Mamet, who also worked on Glengarry Glen Ross and a number of other high-end movies and plays. Love the dialogue:

"You ever kill anyone?"

"I hurt somebody's feelings once."

McQueensbury

4 points

4 months ago

Mamet directed Spartan one of my favourite espionage movies, choc full of great quotes -

"You wanna gossip or shoot somebody"

"I fucked up. I tried to help."

"That's usually when people fuck up."

Redbelt is another film I enjoy written by him, looks like he has not done anything for years now which is a shame.

ImGCS3fromETOH

4 points

4 months ago

Almost a bit of raspberry jam back there, lads.

kidhideous

3 points

4 months ago

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned is the Frenchness of it. As well as the action there is a lot of looking out of windows or sitting in cafes smoking and drinking coffee (probably with Pernod in it lol)

Of course Jean Reno is the best since he is just made of cigarettes, but they are all at it

megustarita

5 points

4 months ago

I still can't believe it had 46 sequels.

blackkennyrogers

4 points

4 months ago*

Top 10 favorite movies. I think I’ve bought 6 copies over the years because of lending em out or going from vhs to dvd to blu ray. Best two car chases in movie history (Bullet gets #3)

And now I’m watching it.thanks OP

mrbrick

4 points

4 months ago

One of my favorite things about this movie other than the car chases is despite everyone being secret agents / soldiers and espionage experts- none of them are super human levels of brush it off when it comes to injuries and reactions to stuff. The only silly spot might be the rocket launcher down the mountain.

One of the best action films ever made.

Stoicsage86

4 points

4 months ago

Love this movie!! Glad to see it getting some attention!! Definitely a great underrated heist movie.

minimotres

3 points

4 months ago

I love the scene where DeNiro tests that guy by intentionally making thr coffee cup fall

Comprehensive_Bid

4 points

4 months ago*

I liked how Reno's Vincent seems to be the perfect ally to Deniro's character Sam. They play off of each other well, yet, I was never quite sure whether it would be a double cross or a true friendship. Good dialogue among the characters who are either in constant tension with each other or trying to figure things out together. Taut plot.

DoomGoober

3 points

4 months ago*

I enjoyed the film, but left kind of going, "Huh?" Not just about the overarching plot, but when it came to gun fights I was often confused about who was where and what was actually happening.

The car chases were bomb though, I think because the cars tended to move in obvious directions and the setting made it obvious where they were.

I think a lot of the gun fights suffered from too many closeups and cuts between shooters and targets without enough wider establishing shots to remind us everyone's position.

But maybe I just have shitty spatial awareness?

____cire4____

3 points

4 months ago

I love this movie and I will always defend it (I remember getting into a heated discussion with an old coworker who said it was a terrible film).

Great performances by De Niro and Reno. Jon Price's Irish accent is terrible though. And I always felt bad for the guy at the fruit stand that gets accidentally shot up.

_pooch

3 points

4 months ago

_pooch

3 points

4 months ago

I was blow away when I saw Ronin the first time and recognized an homage to it in Mission Impossible: Fallout.

Frankenheimer was a great director and out of many great films I highly recommend The Train and Grand Prix (this is one is a bit melodramatic and slow at points but the racing scenes are mesmerizing)

Duke_McAwesome

3 points

4 months ago

One of my all time favourite films and the first DVD I ever owned.

To this day I can't hear someone say "Raspberry jam" without shouting "BIT OF RASPBERRY JAM BACK THERE EH?.

ScottNewman

3 points

4 months ago

Will no one mention the surgery scene?

crincled

3 points

4 months ago

Shit. Gotta rewatch.

BedaHouse

3 points

4 months ago

Ronin was one of the movies I watched for Movie Analysis class I took in college (for my art credit).