Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Edition Details:
Region 2 encoding (Europe, Middle East & Japan only)
, PAL, Colour, Dubbed



You can’t describe this 2002 live action Japanese movie involving time travel and alien invasions without the word “derivative”. Uhm, actually come to think of it, I did exactly just that in my original review . . .

Anyway, watching the film you’d be counting off the, ahem, “influences” one by one: The Matrix, The Terminator, E.T., Independence Day and so forth. Not particularly original then, but Returner boasts some nice special effects and a fresh-faced cast not creaking at the sides of age like a certain bodybuilder-turned-governor of California.

Returner tends to drag slightly from the midsection on (the movie is just too long) but it would make a decent rental for a slow night, or as part of a double bill. Maybe along with that other paragon of originality, Equilibrium. You’ll certainly be getting the action movie fix that the recent Terminator 3 – Rise of the Machines and the Matrix sequels couldn’t deliver on. Besides, the plot - although crammed with subplots – is more comprehensible than The Matrix Revolutions . . .

THE DISC: This is the Region 2 and 5 disc. If you’re a purist, you can watch the movie in its cinematic wide screen aspect ration with its original Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles. I didn’t, opting for the English language soundtrack instead – hey, we’re not talking Kurosawa here after all. Besides, the English dub is actually quite good.

In the line of extra features you get . . . some trailers. Besides a trailer for this movie, there are also trailers for Cowboy Bebop – the Movie and Terminator 3.

WORTH IT? Not a particularly great disc, but not bad either. A bit like the movie itself.

RECOMMENDATION: Returner is a live-action anime movie for all intents and purposes. Not particularly original, anime fans and action movie junkies still ought to check it out for undemanding viewing. Rent it.



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