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 . . .
the film you’d be counting off the, ahem, “influences” one by one:
The Matrix, The
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
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
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
. . .
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
WORTH IT? Not a particularly great disc, but not bad either. A bit like
the movie itself.
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.