We know you truckers spend all day and most of the night dodging 4 wheelers on the highway, so maybe some actual choreographed stunts might not appeal to you when the workday is over. Nah – who are we kidding? Everyone loves a good car chase!
With its exotic European locales, double-crosses, spectacular action sequences, and brooding protagonists, “Ronin” has the look and feel of one of those old-fashioned espionage/caper films of yesteryear. So it should surprise no one that the director is responsible for some of the most fantastic political thrillers ever made – John Frankenheimer. If you grew up in the 70s or 80s, you’ve seen some of his best work (or at least know of it). Have you seen The Manchurian Candidate? How about The Iceman Cometh? Maybe you know of The Horsemen? While many of these films had a lot of political baggage in the backdrop, and went a little light on action, Ronin was a very different project for Frankenheimer. It was nearly zero plot, and all action. Yet somehow, it worked.
Sam (Robert De Niro) is a former CIA operative who is one of the five men recruited by a mysterious woman named Deidre (Natascha McElhone) to do a job. She wants the men to retrieve a briefcase, but she refuses to tell them what is in it. After they accept the offer from the woman, they enter a botched arms buying deal, one of the group tries to double-cross the others, and things get more haywire after that. They have to go through gunfights and car chases around the country while still not knowing what’s in the briefcase, who they’re really working for or what their employer’s motivation is. Strangely, this doesn’t matter much to Sam, who simply sees it as another job with a paycheck that will allow him to move on to the next.
This car chase was filmed in Paris. And to speak to the stunt coordinator’s skill, it was done at 2/3rds speed nearly the entire time, which is rare when you have stunt drivers going into dense, oncoming traffic and driving in claustrophobic tunnels. It’s quite a ride – enjoy truckers!