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2084. After decades of intense fighting, an alien invasion force is close to destroying what's left of the world. In a last-ditch effort to save the human race, a guerilla fighter named Milly leaps into a waiting Time Shifter. With the Alien Wars set to begin in 72 hours, she tricks Miyamoto, a skilled martial-arts expert and gunman, into joining her cause. Together the two launch an all-out assault on the local crime lord who's captured a spaceshipand imprisoned its extraterrestrial pilot. Now the Returner and her partner must free the captive alien before warships begin to attack the planet in this sci-fi thriller packed with dazzling special effects and blazing martial arts action.
There's not a single original idea in Returner, but that doesn't stop this Japanese sci-fi action thriller from being a whole lotta fun. Combining elements of (what else?) The Matrix, E.T., The Terminator, and Independence Day, plus a dash of Back to the Future (among others), the mayhem begins when scruffy survivor Milly (Anne Suzuki) uses a time portal to leap from 2084--when humans are being systematically wiped out by invading aliens--to 2002, where she hooks up with a gunslinging maverick (Takeshi Kaneshiro) whose swirling overcoat and hair-trigger attitude make him the live-action equivalent of the quintessential anime hero. Together, they thwart a Yakuza psychopath (played with hilariously laconic nihilism by Goro Kishitani) who's attempting to steal a recovered alien spaceship to exploit its highly advanced weaponry. In its race to avoid an end-of-the-world scenario, Returner throws in just about everything from the sci-fi anime repertoire, and director Takashi Yamazaki blithely and blatantly shifts from juvenile sentiment to violent brutality, resulting in a clash of tones that makes Returner wildly entertaining but decidedly not for children. Utterly derivative but worthwhile for sci-fi and anime fans, it's a noteworthy case of clever recycling, with energy and ammunition to spare. --Jeff Shannon
This is a ripping adventure, there's humor, cuteness and guns. Lots of guns.
A messenger from the future comes to the past in a last-ditch effort to save Earth from angry and... Read more
Entertaining and interesting twist. Kind of a cute movie. The acting is ok. I've seen Takeshi in better films. But he's so good looking I like to watch any film with him in it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kimber
Saw bits of this on TV and had to track down the movie to see the whole thing. I wasn't disappointed. This is how they should do real life anime/sci fi. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Seattle Person Who Loves Anime and Classic Film
I first saw this movie on cable years ago and just loved it. That's my personal opinion. You might not feel the same way. Read morePublished 10 months ago by JGO
I love it. Takeshi is a great actor in this movie. It has a great story line that you will enjoy. I love the marital arts display and the actors are great as well. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Margaret Jones