“Ronin” is a film that I watched a ton when I used to work at a theater. It was a September release, so you always had time to check it out. What I dug as man cinema back in the late 1990s became kind meh as I approached multiple viewings of the film. Mickey Spillane could get away with not telling you what was in a suitcase. Tarantino pushed the concept as far as he could in Pulp Fiction. By 1998, the concept was feeling tired.
The reluctance to name the product that everyone wanted was asking a ton of someone that just wanted to see car chases and shootings. This is back when I worshiped every movie that gave Jean Reno a job. Yes, even Godzilla (1998). It’s just that Frankenheimer’s age was showing and so many parts of the film felt like it was jumping over needed plot information. Oh well, I’d still consider picking it up.
- 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
- 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track
RELEASE DATE: 8/29/17
The Plot Thus Far
RONIN. Noun, historical. A samurai who no longer serves a daimyo, or feudal lord. From director John Frankenheimer (Reindeer Games, The Manchurian Candidate) comes Ronin, a pulse-pounding, action-packed crime thriller featuring an all-star cast headlined by Robert De Niro (Taxi Driver, Heat) and Jean Reno (Leon: The Professional). On a rain-swept night in Paris, an international crack team of professional thieves assembles, summoned by a shady crime syndicate fronted by the enigmatic Deirdre (Natascha McElhone, The Devil’s Own). Their mission: to steal a heavily guarded briefcase from armed mobsters, its contents undisclosed. But what begins as a routine heist soon spirals into chaos, with the group beset by a series of double-crosses and constantly shifting allegiances, and it falls to world-weary former CIA strategist Sam (De Niro) and laconic Frenchman Vincent (Reno) to hold the mission together. A latter-day return to form for Frankenheimer, the film evokes the same gritty milieu as classic 70s crime fare like The French Connection, in addition to anticipating the early 21st century trend towards more grounded, realistic action movies, exemplified by the likes of the Bourne franchise. Arrow Video is proud to present Ronin in a brand new, cinematographer-approved 4K restoration, allowing this jewel in the crown of 90s thriller cinema to shine like never before.