Directed by Takashi Yamazaki
Produced by Akifumi Takuma, Toru Horibe & Chikahiro Ando
Screenplay by Takashi Yamazaki & Kenya Hirata
Photography by Kozo Shibazaki & Akira Sako
Music by Akihiko Matsumoto
Cast: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Anne Suzuki, Goro Kishitani & Kirin Kiki
2002/117 mins/Color/5.1 DTS
1.85:1/Japanese/Japan/NTSC Region 0
Review from the Universe Laser & Video Co., Limited DVD
Miyamoto (Takeshi Kaneshiro) is a solitary trench coat wearing killer-for-hire looking for the man responsible for the death of his childhood friend. On a mission, he comes across an infamous yakuza notorious for his black market of human organs. The yakuza in question, Mizoguchi (Goro Kishitani), also happens to be the man Miyamoto is looking for. Just when Miyamoto is about to avenge his friend, a young girl by the name of Millie (Anne Suzuki) falls from the sky and disrupt him. Mizoguchi manages to escape on an helicopter. Vengeance will have to wait...
After accidentally shooting her, Miyamoto takes Millie to his place. When she wakes up, she starts explaining to him that she's from the future, 80 years later more precisely, and that she must destroy an alien race called Daggra before they invade the Earth. Naturally, Miyamoto doesn't believe her so she has no choice but to put a band aid sized bomb on his neck. Now they must unite and trust themselves if they want to stop this war. The only problem is that Mizoguchi finds out about the spaceship and alien before them.
Takashi Yamazaki delivered a very good and entertaining sci-fi action flick with RETURNER even though pretty much everything in the film is lifted from somewhere else; someone is send back in time to prevent a war that should happen in the future (TERMINATOR), bullet time gunfight (THE MATRIX), Aliens looking a lot like the one in E.T. and spaceship a little too similar to the ones in INDEPENDENCE DAY. Still i enjoyed RETURNER a lot, its nicely paced with some cool action scenes, good to not too good cgi, good performance by the cast and a good dose of humour. The film never take itself seriously which is a good thing.
The film is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The image looks good but nothing spectacular. Audio wise we get the choice of a Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital, Japanese 5.1 DTS and a Cantonese Dolby Digital Stereo tracks. All three sound very good and brings the film the much needed sounds fx it needs. Akihiko Matsumoto' score really shines in all three tracks. We also get the choice of Chinese and English white subtitles which are easy to read. The film is separated in only 8 chapters, the menus have animations and sounds. Extras wise, we get the theatrical trailer, bios for Takeshi Kaneshiro, Anne Suzuki, Goro Kishitani and director Takashi Yamazaki. Interviews with Yamazaki, Kaneshiro and Suzuki and a small behind-the-scenes. The DVD comes in a keep case with no booklet or inlay card.
RETURNER was also released as a NTSC Region 2 Deluxe 2 discs Limited Edition which comes in a nice digipack and features loads of extras including a commentary track in Japanese but with English subtitles, behind-the-scenes coverage, making of and more.
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2003. ©
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