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In a world where loyalties are easily abandoned and allegiances can be bought, a new and deadlier terrorist threat has emerged...free agent killers. Featuring "high-octane action" (Gene Shalit, "Today"), a "first-rate cast" (L.A. Daily News) and exhilarating car chases that "are nothing short of sensational" (The New York Times), Ronin is "the real deal in action fireworks" (Rolling Stone) directed by "a master of intelligent thrillers" (Roger Ebert).
The Cold War may be over, but a new world order keeps a group of covert mercenaries employed by the highest bidder. These operatives, known as "Ronin," are assembled in France by a mysterious client for a seemingly routine mission: steal a top-secret briefcase. But the simple task soon proves explosive asother underworld organizations vie for the same prize...and to get the job done, the members of Ronin must do something they've never done before...trust each other.
On The DVD
The two-disc set has substantial additional features, most of which emphasize the film's extraordinary car chase sequences. In his commentary, director John Frankenheimer delights in the stunts ("Now that's the best four-wheel drift I think I've ever seen!") and explores the difficulty of effective time transitions in a thriller. He also discusses his love of Paris, and how the city presents challenges to location filmmaking that aren't encountered in U.S. productions. The segments "The Driving of Ronin" and "Ronin: Filming in the Fast Lane" focus on cars, Paris, and cars in Paris; the interview with stunt-car coordinator Jean-Claude Lagniez is especially enlightening.
Robert De Niro, Natascha McElhone, and Jean Reno discuss their characters in Venice Film Festival interviews; De Niro is characteristically taciturn, McElhone articulate and lovely, and Reno charmingly expansive about his character Vincent ("Is he tough? Yeh, he knows his guns."). McElhone also gets her own separate interview segment, in which she discusses her concern over being thrown into the opening scenes as a novice among old pros--a situation shared by her character in the film.
Segments with the director of photography, editor, and composer are also included, but Elia Cmiral's use of the haunting duduk theme deserves more exploration than it gets here. There is also a thrown-together photo gallery and a brief, bleak alternate ending. --Michael Smith
Audio commentary with Director John Frankenheimer
Original Venice Film Festival interviews with Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, and Natasha McElhone
Documentary: "Ronin: Filming in the Fast Lane"
Featurette: "In the Cutting Room with Tony Gibbs"
Featurette: Composing The Ronin Score
Featurette: Natascha McElhone: An Actor's Process
Featurette: The Driving of Ronin
Featurette: Through the Lens
Animated Photo Gallery
Actors: Robert DeNiro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård, Sean Bean
Directors: John Frankenheimer
Writers: David Mamet, J.D. Zeik
Producers: Ethel Winant, Frank Mancuso Jr., Paul Kelmenson
Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Collector's Edition, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Dubbed: French, Spanish
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
DVD Release Date: January 1, 2004
Run Time: 122 minutes