THE RETURNER

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: October 17, 2003

Starring: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Anne
Suzuki, and GoroKishitani

Genre: Animation/Science Fiction

Audience: Older teenagers and
adults REVIEWER: Nate
Waller THE RETURNER, directed
and co-written by the award
winning Takashi Yamazaki, is a
time-traveling,
extraterrestrial, stoot-em-up,
sci-fi, action, Asian flick
heavily borrowing cinematic
elements from Japanese
Animation. The film is so
characteristically Japanese
that most American moviegoers
will be confused by the lack
of continuity between scenes
and conflicting themes. The
audience often missed the
genre's style and laughed
during the serious and
sentimental moments because of
this apparent lack of
connection. Although this
movie is not made for an
American audience, some
viewers may like the movie
because it took the vivid
visuals of Japanese Animation
and translated them to film.
Not since THE MATRIX has a
movie borrowed so heavily from
this genre, and do so
convincingly. This movie is
reserved only for those who
enjoy and appreciate Anime;
the average moviegoer will be
lost and will not find this
movie entertaining in the
least. The movie opens in the
year 2084 and the human race
is fighting a vastly superior
alien army in the last stages
of the destruction of mankind.
Secretly hidden in the
mountains of Tibet are the
last remnants of the human
resistance. Just before total
annihilation by the aliens, a
team of scientists constructs
a time machine to send one
lone warrior, the last hope of
mankind, back in time to stop
the alien invasion before it
starts. Unfortunately, the
chosen warrior is killed, and
a young teenage girl named
Milly (Anne Suzuki) takes it
upon herself to complete the
mission in present day Japan.
A chance encounter with
Miyamoto (Takeshi Kaneshiro),
a street-smart gunman
embroiled in a crime war with
Mizoguchi (Goro Kishitani),
Japan's most powerful crime
kingpin, provides Milly with
the help she needs. Teamed up,
Milly and Miyamoto fight to
protect a marooned alien whose
death will trigger the 80
years of war. THE RETURNER has
little to contribute morally
nor does it try to do so. A
major stylistic break from
American movies, this Japanese
film does not expect you to
understand the movie until
it's over. It is so culturally
rooted that the pace of the
movie may seem incongruent and
off balance. As evidenced by
the awards that the film and
the director have earned,
Japanese audiences seem to
understand and appreciate what
Americans would not find
understandable. The worldview
of this movie is very pagan.
There is no right or wrong;
only circumstances dictate
what stance the characters
take. Milly's ally, Miyamoto,
only gets involved with saving
the world because she lies to
him and tricks him into
helping her. The crime leader,
Mizoguchi, demonstrates his
depravity by his rampages of
senselessly killing but this
is hardly a moral
statement. Revenge is an
overarching theme of the
movie. Eighty years of alien
invasion are precipitated by
the death of their leader and
the revenging of his death on
the human race. Rather than
taking her own revenge,
however, Milly has compassion
on the stranded alien. As she
fights to save him and the
future of the human race, she
demonstrates the power of
forgiveness and understanding.
Thus, the premise of the movie
has a redemptive
aspect. Please address your
comments to: Samuel Goldwyn,
Jr., Chairman/CEO The Samuel
Goldwyn Co. 10203 Santa Monica
Blvd. Los Angeles, CA
90067 Phone: (310)
552-2255 Fax: (310) 284-8493

Rating: R

Runtime: 118 minutes

Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films

Director: Takashi Yamazaki

Executive Producer:

Producer: Akifumi Takuma, Toru Horibe,
and Chikahiro Ando EXECUTIVE
PRODUCERS: Chihiro Kameyama,
Shimatani, and Shuji Abe

Writer: Takashi Yamazaki and Kenya
Hirata

Address Comments To:

Content:

(PaPa, C, LL, VVV, D, MM) Strong pagan worldview with a redemptive premise; 13 obscenities and three profanities; very strong violence includes brutal shooting of children (off screen) and a body count surpassing the run-time of the movie; no sex; no nudity; no alcohol; mild tobacco use; and, strong miscellaneous immorality, notably the implied rounding up and slaughtering of street children for their organs and continuous wanton murder.

GENRE: Animation/Science Fiction

PaPa

C

LL

D

M

VVV

Summary:

THE RETURNER is set in the year 2084 when a team of scientists use their untested time machine to send one person back in time to stop earth's invasion and save mankind from annihilation. The worldview of this movie is very pagan, although the premise of the movie has a redemptive aspect.

Review:

THE RETURNER, directed and co-written by the award winning Takashi Yamazaki, is a time-traveling, extraterrestrial, stoot-em-up, sci-fi, action, Asian flick heavily borrowing cinematic elements from Japanese Animation. The film is so characteristically Japanese that most American moviegoers will be confused by the lack of continuity between scenes and conflicting themes. The audience often missed the genre's style and laughed during the serious and sentimental moments because of this apparent lack of connection. Although this movie is not made for an American audience, some viewers may like the movie because it took the vivid visuals of Japanese Animation and translated them to film. Not since THE MATRIX has a movie borrowed so heavily from this genre, and do so convincingly. This movie is reserved only for those who enjoy and appreciate Anime; the average moviegoer will be lost and will not find this movie entertaining in the least.

The movie opens in the year 2084 and the human race is fighting a vastly superior alien army in the last stages of the destruction of mankind. Secretly hidden in the mountains of Tibet are the last remnants of the human resistance. Just before total annihilation by the aliens, a team of scientists constructs a time machine to send one lone warrior, the last hope of mankind, back in time to stop the alien invasion before it starts. Unfortunately, the chosen warrior is killed, and a young teenage girl named Milly (Anne Suzuki) takes it upon herself to complete the mission in present day Japan. A chance encounter with Miyamoto (Takeshi Kaneshiro), a street-smart gunman embroiled in a crime war with Mizoguchi (Goro Kishitani), Japan's most powerful crime kingpin, provides Milly with the help she needs. Teamed up, Milly and Miyamoto fight to protect a marooned alien whose death will trigger the 80 years of war.

THE RETURNER has little to contribute morally nor does it try to do so. A major stylistic break from American movies, this Japanese film does not expect you to understand the movie until it's over. It is so culturally rooted that the pace of the movie may seem incongruent and off balance. As evidenced by the awards that the film and the director have earned, Japanese audiences seem to understand and appreciate what Americans would not find understandable.

The worldview of this movie is very pagan. There is no right or wrong; only circumstances dictate what stance the characters take. Milly's ally, Miyamoto, only gets involved with saving the world because she lies to him and tricks him into helping her. The crime leader, Mizoguchi, demonstrates his depravity by his rampages of senselessly killing but this is hardly a moral statement.

Revenge is an overarching theme of the movie. Eighty years of alien invasion are precipitated by the death of their leader and the revenging of his death on the human race. Rather than taking her own revenge, however, Milly has compassion on the stranded alien. As she fights to save him and the future of the human race, she demonstrates the power of forgiveness and understanding. Thus, the premise of the movie has a redemptive aspect.

Please address your comments to:

Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., Chairman/CEO

The Samuel Goldwyn Co.

10203 Santa Monica Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90067

Phone: (310) 552-2255

Fax: (310) 284-8493

SUMMARY: THE RETURNER is set in the year 2084 when a team of scientists use their untested time machine to send one person back in time to stop earth's invasion and save mankind from annihilation. The worldview of this movie is very pagan, although the premise of the movie has a redemptive aspect.

In Brief: