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Returner ( リターナー ) Toho Films/Pony Canyon, 2002 Destination Films/Columbia Tri-Star Home Video, 2004 Directed by Takashi Yamazaki (Juvenile, Onimusha 3)Running Time: 116 minutes Rated R for extreme violence and gore, mature situations and strong language. Cast Takeshi Kaneshiro as Miyamoto Ann Suzuki (young Hatsue in Snow Falling on Cedars) as Milly Goro Kishitani as Mizoguchi Kirin Kiki as Xie Yukiko Okamoto as Dr. Yagi Synopsis A.D. 2084 - Mankind is on the verge of extinction at the hands of an advanced alien race. As the alien forces crush the Earth resistance's final stronghold in Tibet, a girl named Milly jumps into a portal that sends her back into time. October 19, 2002 - Miyamoto, a hired assassin, is in the middle of killing crime lord Mizoguchi when he shoots Milly, mistaking her for a thug. After Mizoguchi escapes, Miyamoto finds out that Milly is unhurt. She then tricks him into embarking on a dangerous mission as a means of preventing the war on her timeline from happening. Lowdown Take one part Terminator 2: Judgment Day, one part Men In Black and one part Independence Day, mix it with The Matrix and you've got one of the most explosive blockbuster films to come out of the Far East. Returner is filled with non-stop action and spectacular special effects. No stuntmen in rubber monster suits here - Returner uses a lot of computer-generated effects that look like they came from Hollywood. Many of the alien battle scenes are reminiscent of The Terminator and Independence Day. The fight scenes and gun fights have shades of The Matrix and a handful of John Woo's films. As for the story, it's actually pretty good. Unlike most of the newer sci-fi films, you can get into Returner's plot and characters. If not, at least the action makes up for it. Returner will not win any points for originality, but if you want a popcorn film that kicks major ass, look no further. Proof that Tokyo can also produce high-caliber science fiction and go head-on with Hollywood. Rating: B Sub vs. Dub Returner should be played in its original Japanese track, as it's pretty complex with the alien battle scenes in English and the Triad lord scenes in Mandarin. The English dub does away with the Mandarin dialogues, not to mention that redubbing a scene that was originally recorded in English is pointless. DVD Extras: A- Columbia Tri-Star's DVD release has a behind-the-scenes look at the movie, as well as interviews with director Yamazaki and Ann Suzuki. There's also a montage of comparisons between composite shots and clips from the final product. Links Official Returner Homepage (Japanese) Sony Pictures' Official Returner Homepage Reference The Internet Movie Database