The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features


My God, what a horrible movie! No depth, no characters, no anything! This movie insulted my intelligence by being a confusing, needlessly violent video game. We don't care for these characters, we aren't given a chance. The plot makes no sense, and the movie is a complete hack-job!

Now please excuse me ladies, I'm going to take a moment to discuss Prostate Cancer, The Three Stooges and Football.

(Are they gone?)

OK, now that all the chicks have left, listen up guys, and let me tell you what I really thought about Ronin.

Wow. Cool. This movie was all action. No depth, it would have gotten in the way of the car chases. Non characters, what do we care what these people think when they can shoot guns and drive cars like that! Dude! This movie was needlessly violent! How awesome is that!

Here's the plot. Uhm... Robert DeNiro and a bunch of other tough guys are hired to steal a case. They blow things up. Nobody is what they seem to be, except for the few who are exactly what you expected them to be, which was something you weren't expecting. People die. I mean people die. A lot. Characters die. Innocents die. Lots of innocents die. There are some incredible car chases. Yes, I'm still describing the plot.

See, it's a twist and turn of events for all to enjoy. Well, for those who like mindless action anyway. This is not a Merchant/Ivory film. I really can't sum up the plot, because it would give too much away. Just understand that DeNiro and Company are hired guns, and things get confusing from there on out.

How is the acting? Uhm... fine. When people get shot, they look like they're really getting shot.

See, there is no depth here. No character development. This is not about characters with feelings and emotions and stuff. This is about telling a long and winding action story. Everything that happens, even if it looks like it might be happening in order to give some depth to a character, happens in order to advance the plot.

There was one thing that did bother me about the movie. It was really violent, but more than that, it's attitude towards the violence disturbed me. See, lots of innocent bystanders get killed in this film. I mean there's a shootout in a public place and people get in the way and they are killed. There is an incredible car chase (a couple of them, actually) and innocent bystanders get in the way and they are killed. And it's not like we know these people. We don't. They're blurs on the racing screen. And we never go back to see the effects of the carnage. As if violence is OK. It doesn't matter if the bad guys kill them, the good guys, or both. They're fodder. It is desensitized violence in the extreme. And it bothered me.

But then what do you expect? It's a summer blockbuster that got pushed back to a fall release.

The car chases are excellent. You are in the cars. You are holding on to your seat in fear for your life. It is a great big video game, except that if you crash, you don't get to hit the reset button. This is what a car chase is all about!

It's a testament to what this movie is that with all the people being needlessly slaughtered, the only scene that actually made me cringe was a minor, and not that graphic, operation. But we cringed there because we know the character that is undergoing the minor surgery, and we see him in actual pain. The hundreds of stunt men and women who got mowed down continuously throughout the movie are just that, faceless cattle, background.

The film takes place in France, so it looks pretty and the streets are narrow (which just adds to the car chases) and everyone has an accent. Lots of people have a lot of guns and they never have to reload.

This film is directed by John Frankenheimer. Why is this important? It's not. But he's the guy who directed what was possibly one of the worst movies in recent memory, The Island of Dr. Moreau. He is also the director of possibly one of the best films of all time, The Manchurian Candidate. So he's hit and miss.

Would I recommend this film? Sure. Would I take my mother to see it? No.

Ronin gets 3 2/5 Babylons. But you can add or subtract as many Babylons as you like depending on how much you like emotionless violence.

Editor's Note:

I didn't realize the Critic had a mother.

Rated: R
Directed By: John Frankenheimer
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Jean Reno, Jonathon Pryce, that girl from The Truman Show, that guy from Good Will Hunting, that other guy from Goldeneye and Katarina Witt. Yup, you heard me. Katarina Witt. The Ice Skater. Guess what she does in the movie? Yup. She ice skates.

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