Returner (2002)


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Movie Info

In the year 2084, when humanity is decimated by a ruthless alien force, all hope lies in Milly (Anne Suzuki), a hardened young soldier, as she goes back in time to stop the invasion before it's too late. Ending up in present-day 2002, she appears in the middle of a gunfight as Miyamoto (Takeshi Kaneshiro), a mysterious mercenary, is breaking up a child-slave ring headed by Mizoguchi (Goro Kishitani), a ruthless Triad member with an uncanny thirst for blood. With bullets flying left and right, Milly is shot by Miyamoto and is brought into his secretive ring of do-gooding with the smart-mouthed Kirin Kiki, an arms-dealing old woman that's helping Miyamoto on his quest for revenge against Mizoguchi. Through some coercing (by the form of a small, explosive device the size of a band-aid on his neck), Miyamoto unwillingly joins the mission, as they infiltrate the government base that holds a captured alien and its crashed spacecraft -- the first contact that eventually brings on the invasion. With Mizoguchi and the Triads moving in, seeking some of the alien advanced weaponry, Miyamoto may finally get the vengeance he seeks as Milly gets closer and closer to saving the entire human race.


Critic Reviews for Returner

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (12)

A fourth-generation Terminator hand-me-down.

Oct 22, 2003 | Full Review…

This irresistibly over-the-top delight remains truly original in spite of its debt to an array of cinematic chestnuts.

Oct 17, 2003 | Rating: 3/4
Seattle Times
Top Critic

With little room for new ideas, the film must rely on the strength of its actors, and they're excellent across the board.

Oct 17, 2003 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Returner was a huge hit in Japan, but this would- be sci-fi epic is soporific, shamelessly derivative and barely coherent by American standards.

Oct 17, 2003 | Rating: 1/4

This Japanese sci-fi actioner copies so many Hollywood hits that it should win an award from the Xerox Corp.

Oct 17, 2003

The real reason to see this film is the scrappy rapport between Kaneshiro and Suzuki. They are so good together, you won't know whether to cheer or cry.

Oct 16, 2003 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Returner


A young woman returns from the future and enlists the unwilling help of a hitman to stop an alien invasion. The Terminator meets Independence Day with a dash of Transformers in a highly derivative but fun pulp sci-fi actioner. It borrows heavily from a lot of sources and the effects can occasionally feel a little "Stargate SG-1" but the likable leads and inventive visuals mean it is still very entertaining. There's the usual high octane martial arts mixed with future technology giving an excuse for some bullet-time acrobatics and Goro Kishitani makes an amusingly over the top villain. If the time travel paradox twist had been used with a little more imagination it could've been brilliant, but as it stands it's an undemandingly fun sci-fi actioner in the mold of Ryuhei Kitamura.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

This Japanese sci-fi action thriller may lack originality but it still manages to be a very entertaining movie! The story consists of a young woman from a war-torn future who travels back in time 82 years to 2002 to prevent an alien invasion of earth summoning the help of a local hitman. It's got some super-cool action sequences and fairly decent special-effects. The bad guy is absolutely ruthless and the heroes are likable and excell in ass-kickery. It's Takeshi Kaneshiro at his most coolest! A must-see for sci-fi action fans.

Lee ?
Lee ?

Super Reviewer

This Movie is great...Very Smart ^_^

EightThirty .
EightThirty .

Super Reviewer


Cool and entertaining, but a bit uneven and weird, as with many movies from Japan. I wouldn't go as far as to call it original, since it seems to have "borrowed" most of its components from american movies, but its forgivable since they have given those elements their very own style.

Mike S
Mike S

Super Reviewer

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