Ronin ★★½ 1998 (R)
What a cast! What a director! What a disappointment! Okay, so it's not that bad—the scenery's spectacular (the action takes place between Paris and Nice) and there are some amazing car chases. But, they go on much too long and the story's less than involving. Sam (De Niro) is a worldweary, possibly exspy who gets involved with several international players (including Reno, Skarsgard, and Bean) to do a job for tough Irish lass Deirdre (McElhone). She's fronting (for the violent Pryce) a project to retrieve a mysterious suitcase from some Russian bad guys. One of the best things the film's got going for it is the wary buddy relationship that builds between De Niro and Reno. Title refers to a Japanese legend concerning 47 masterless samurai. Richard Weisz is the pseudonym for a rewriting David Mamet. 118m/C VHS, DVD, UMD . Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Stellan Skarsgard, Natascha (Natasha) McElhone, Jonathan Pryce, Skipp (Robert L.) Sudduth, Michael (Michel) Lonsdale, Sean Bean, Jan Triska, Feodor Atkine, Bernard Bloch, Katarina Witt; D: John Frankenheimer; W: David Mamet, J.D. Zeik; C: Robert Fraisse; M: Elia Cmiral.