Year: 1998
Production Co: FGM Entertainment
Director: John Frankenheimer
Writer: J D Zeik/Richard Weisz
Cast: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natasha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård, Sean Bean, Jonathan Pryce
It's very hard to imagine what could possibly go wrong with a thriller directed by John Frankenheimer starring Robert De Niro, but like the more recent Righteous Kill, this is a less distinctive film than you hope it'll be.

It's certainly thrilling however, and not just because of the standout car chase. De Niro is just one of a group of former spooks and operatives who freelance themsvles out for high pressure assignments for very good money - the title referring to the wandering samurai of feudal Japan who were released from their masters' services to find their own fortunes as mercenaries for hire.

The Macguffin is long since lost in memory - as is most of the plot - but it's well worth watching for a fusion of adpet, professional action filmmaking, assured performances and subterfuge as the group ends up second guessing each other to keep their own heads from getting shot off by the seemingly inevitable double cross.

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