Daily Dojo

In Praise Of Ronin

I’m a real fan of the film RONIN, the thriller with Robert DeNiro … I think one reason it appeals to me (and many others), is its simplicity … it’s a very simple film, no real twists or space aliens, it’s about some bad guys who want to steal a case from some more more bad dudes in Europe … add to that, we never find out WHAT’S in the case or WHY it’s so important.

We just know that it is simply because of the lengths these people go to in order to get it. It’s a complex film, but NOT complicated one … and there’s no CGI, no gravity-defying, no unbelievable-that-would-never-happen-in-real-life stunts … there’s action but it’s all REAL, all right there … we don’t see computer imagery.

What we see, instead, is a film about professional thieves and terrorists stealing and double-crossing one another … the only twists in the story come from the individual character choices and who they really are, in the end … that’s it. And the characters don’t change … they endure and survive or … they don’t.

I think that’s one reason why the film has aged and endured so well … I wish more films like it were made.

I think if someone were to pitch this film today, it may have trouble getting going, producers would want to know … what’s the twist? What’s in the case? And I get that, I do … but …

… with a film like Ronin, the JOURNEY that the characters (and audience) takes us on is far MORE important than anything they end up with by the time it fades out. And that, in my opinion, is the real reason I go to movies.

Here’s one of the fantastic car chases from the film …

2 Responses to “ In Praise Of Ronin”

  1. CJ Says:

    Spot on. Ronin is great. Sometimes movies work because of the journey, as you said, and don’t need a gimmicky twist or a million set-ups and callbacks. Look at the Iliad, the Odyssey or the Lord of the Rings. Not a lot of clever reversals and twists, but you’re engrossed just the same. Sometimes building a myth is enough.

  2. Joshua James Says:

    “Sometimes building a myth is enough.”

    Man, that’s a great point …

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