Ronin (Deluxe Edition) (Sony) — In feudal Japan, we are told, Ronin were disgraced samurai, bodyguards who failed to prevent their masters from being killed. So they roamed the countryside as free-agent hit men, sort of.
With that, we are taken to a post-cold-war Europe where Robert DeNiro is a latter-day Ronin, an ex-CIA operative hired to intercept a mysterious package desperately sought by various parties, including Irish rebels and Russian mafia.
Veteran director John Frankenheimer (The Train, The Manchurian Candidate) keeps the action moving so swiftly that viewers don’t have time to realize there’s little plot here, or to wonder just what’s inside the elusive metal case. But there are gunfights and car-chase scenes galore through authentic European locales.
DeNiro is backed by an able cast that includes Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgard, Sean Bean and Jonathan Pryce.
The DVD includes an alternate ending — an option that proves the original choice was the right one — and a passel of making-of features on a second disc.