"The pieces are here, but they're not put together."
Close, but not quite.Robert DeNiro as action star?
Ronin tries to be a thinking action thriller: a group of post-cold war intelligence agents come together for a top secret job. They've got to take a silver suitcase (?) and deliver it to their benfactor. Making up the misfit group are Sam (DeNiro), the ex-CIA agent who assumes a leadership role; Dierdre (Natascha McElhone), the woman who brought the group together; Larry (Skipp Sudduth), the driver; Gregor (Stellan Skarsgard), the computer whiz; Spence (Sean Bean) the weapons guy; and Vincent (Jean Reno), the go-to guy. The group must take the case. They just don't know what's in the case.
What follows is a series of doublecrosses between members of the group and various outside forces. Ronin (meaning a samurai who has lost his master) tries to be too many things at once. It's got a story almost straight out of Mission: Impossible (complete with Reno), and a bunch of exotic locales (Italy and - ugh - Paris). What it doesn't have is comprehension. The story's a mess. One doublecross after another, without explanation or anything. It just sort of happens. Two characters end up together without any kind of foreshadowing, making me wonder if the writer said, "Hey, let's have Bobby get some!"
As thrillers go, Ronin's light. There's not much suspense, but the action sequences are pretty well done. The movie boasts what is probably the greatest car chase sequence ever filmed. But it's not enough.Better than most of the summer action movie fare, but still missing something.