Every other week Jack Reda, The Script Doctor, tells the powers that be in Hollywood why they should listen to him. You decide if he's right.


How is it that a movie with lengthy car chases, guns blazing, Euro-trash bad guys and Robert De Niro can still only be mediocre overall? Ronin had enough talent involved that someone should have been able to suggest a few things to make it more interesting. That's where I come in.

  • Sean Bean. He's great at playing the whiny untrustworthy guy, but he was wasted. After Bean panics at the first tense exchange, the group drops him and he's never seen again. He wouldn't have been part of the team initially if he didn't have at least some skills as a mercenary. And he knows that whatever they are after is worth a lot of money to a lot of people. You think a guy like him would just give up and go back to England? No way. He would try to interfere and steal the merchandise at a critical point in the film (more on that below).

  • Jean Reno. The affable Frenchman should not have survived. You already let Natascha McElhone get away when De Niro reveals he is still actively working for the CIA. It isn't good storytelling to have Reno survive as well. The end scene with Reno and De Niro standing around like old chums was goofy and out of place. De Niro's character was the Ronin concept, and he should have been alone at the end. It would have been better to have Sean Bean show up and shoot Reno in order to steal the ice-skate box.

  • Ice-Skate Box. Since we never get to see what was supposed to really be in the box, I think the filmmakers missed a great opportunity to have someone open the box and find: ice-skates. That someone should have been Sean Bean. He gets away with the box only to find out that he got the wrong one.

  • Car Chases. The film has a couple of car chases, nearly identical. They should have had the second one get really messy, hitting pedestrians and even more property. They could have even used something I have been dying to see in a car chase: The car is speeding along- suddenly a dog appears on the street, and a man on the other side. The driver quickly swerves into the man. He turns to the passenger and says "I can't bring myself to run over a dog."

    Jack Reda


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