A rousing and decidedly manly action flick from director John Frankenheimer, Ronin has a plot so convoluted it ends up not really having a plot at all and defaults to being simply a collection of some really cool action sequences. For what it's worth, Natascha McElhone plays a mysterious Irish lass who assembles a team of outcast specialists to help track down an equally mysterious suitcase, the contents of which are about to be sold to the Russians. From there, it's Double-Cross City with a left turn into Triple-Cross Town and at least one really amazing car chase. Robert De Niro is in fine form and fighting shape here (possibly for the last time), as is Jean Reno and the ever-doomed Sean Bean as two of his associates -- this confusing but ultimately highly satisfying thriller would've been a great swan song for the late Frankenheimer, but unfortunately he went out with the rather unsatisfying heist-gone-wrong mess, Reindeer Games. David Mamet wrote the script, which is full of his trademark elliptical tough-guy talk -- under the pseudonym "Richard Weisz," for whatever reason.
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