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Ronin

Ronin

Ronin is a 1998 action-thriller film directed by John Frankenheimer and written by J.D. Zeik and David Mamet. It stars Robert De Niro and Jean Reno as two of several former special forces and intelligence agents who team up to steal a mysterious, heavily guarded suitcase while navigating a maze of shifting loyalties and alliances. The film is noted for its sensational car chases.

In a warehouse on the outskirts of Paris, Deirdre (Natascha McElhone) meets with Spence (Sean Bean), Larry (Skipp Sudduth), Gregor (Stellan Skarsgård), Vincent (Jean Reno) and Sam (Robert De Niro), all former special forces soldiers or intelligence operatives. Deirdre briefs the men on their mission, attacking a heavily-armed convoy and stealing a briefcase, its contents unknown. Following the briefing, the team begins assembling their equipment, Deirdre meets with her handler Seamus (Jonathan Pryce), who reveals that Russian gangsters are bidding for the case and that the team must act quickly to intercept it. Later, Spence is exposed as incompetent and is summarily released from the team. The others depart for Nice, where over several days they observe the convoy and form an ambush plan. The team ambushes the convoy and pursues the survivors through the surrounding countryside. After a lengthy car chase and gun battle, Gregor betrays the team and steals the case for himself before disappearing.

Gregor attempts to sell the case to the Russians but shoots his contact when he attempts betrayal. Gregor contacts Mikhi, the leader of the gangsters and threatens to sell the case to the Irish unless Mikhi pays a grossly inflated price for the case, which Mikhi agrees to. Meanwhile, the rest of the team track Gregor through one of Sam's old CIA contacts and corner him in the Roman arena in Arles. Following a tense standoff and hectic firefight with Gregor and the Russians negotiating with him, Gregor escapes the coliseum but is kidnapped by Seamus, who kills Larry and escapes with Deirdre just as Sam and Vincent emerge from the coliseum. Sam, wounded from the fight, is taken by Vincent to his friend Jean-Pierre (Michael Lonsdale) in a villa in rural France. After removing the bullet and allowing Sam time to recuperate, Vincent asks Jean-Pierre to help him locate Gregor, Deirdre and Seamus. Meanwhile, in a Paris slum, Seamus learns that Gregor has mailed the case to himself at a post office in Paris. Days later, as they retrieve the case in Paris, they are ambushed by Vincent and Sam, Sam confronts Deirdre who is waiting for Seamus and Gregor outside the post office. Realizing that Sam has feelings for her and won't execute her she speeds off and following a high-speed chase through the streets and tunnels of Paris, Vincent shoots out Dierdre's tires and sends her car over a highway overpass. Gregor emerges from the car with the briefcase while Deirdre and Seamus are later pulled away by construction workers shortly before the car explodes, Gregor once again escapes with the case.

Vincent and Sam, considering their options, discover that the case is identical to one used by figure skaters. Intelligence gleaned from Jean-Pierre's contacts also suggest the Russians are involved with figure skater Natacha Kirilova (Katarina Witt), the protégé of Mikhi and who has a show at the local arena. Vincent and Sam appear at the arena as Mikhi, already there with Natacha, receives a call from Gregor, who demands to meet in a backstage dressing room. At the meet, Mikhi exchanges money for the case when Gregor, prepared to leave, reveals that he has positioned a sniper somewhere in the arena that will shoot Natacha if Gregor is betrayed. Mikhi shoots Gregor regardless, allowing Natacha to be killed, and Mikhi prepares to leave with the case and his money. Meanwhile, Vincent and Sam follow the panicked crowd out of the arena in time to see Seamus ambush and shoot Mikhi before stealing the case. Sam runs ahead of Seamus and finds Deirdre sitting in the getaway car, where he asks her to leave the scene, revealing himself as an agent of the CIA currently pursuing Seamus. Sam urges Deirdre to leave, telling her that his original target was Seamus. Seamus shoots his way past the crowd back to the arena, with Sam in pursuit. In the final gunfight, Seamus wounds Sam and prepares to kill him when Vincent opens fire from the scaffolding, killing Seamus.

Days later, in a Parisian cafe, over radio broadcasts revealing a peace agreement reached between Sinn Féin and the British as a result of Seamus's death, Sam and Vincent part as friends before Sam drives off with his CIA contact. Vincent himself leaves and disappears into gloomy Paris. The contents of the case are never revealed.


Guinea, 2007, Jean Reno, Ronin

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