Blu-Ray Review: Ronin

Before he was abducted by aliens and brainwashed into making incredibly bad comedy films, Robert De Niro owned the title of being the greatest and most iconic actor of his generation. Performances in Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Cape Fear, Heat, Casino and Goodfellas ensured he was sat on top of the tree. By the time he made Ronin, his fortunate were beginning to wane. However, John Frankenheimer teased out one last great action performance from him.

An Irish agent Deirdre (Natascha McElhone) collects a group of mercenaries together in Paris with the goal of capturing a mysterious large silver briefcase. The team comprises Americans Sam (Robert De Niro) and Larry (Skipp Sudduth), a Frenchman Vincent (Jean Reno), a German Gregor (Stellan Skarsgård) and an Englishman Spence (Sean Bean). When she’s told by her handler (Jonathan Pryce) that the Russians are bidding for the case, the team need to act quickly. But is there a traitor in their midst?

Ronin is a relentless action film which benefits greatly from the camaraderie built-up between De Niro and Reno’s characters. There’s also a brilliant car chase, and the plot keeps twisting and turning; never losing your interest. The only slight negatives are McElhone’s IRISH accent and Sean Bean’s idiotic character. However, Ronin is a superior crime film which oozes intrigue and drama. It harks back to the halcyon days of the ‘70s and makes you wish that films like this were still being made.

Special Edition Contents:

  • Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release, supervised and approved by director of photography Robert Fraisse
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p)
  • Original English 5.1 audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Audio commentary by director John Frankenheimer
  • Brand new video interview with director of photography Robert Fraisse
  • Paul Joyce documentary on Robert De Niro
  • Ronin: Filming in the Fast Lane, an archival behind-the-scenes featurette
  • Through the Lens, an archival interview with Robert Fraisse
  • The Driving of Ronin, an archival featurette on the film’s legendary car stunts
  • Natascha McElhone: An Actor’s Process, an archival interview with the actress
  • Composing the Ronin Score, an archival interview with composer Elia Cmiral
  • In the Ronin Cutting Room, an archival interview with editor Tony Gibbs
  • Venice Film Festival interviews with Robert De Niro, Jean Reno and Natascha McElhone
  • Alternate ending
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet illustrated by Chris Malbon, featuring new writing on the film by critic Travis Crawford

Ronin is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video on Monday 14 August.

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