* * *
Directed by: Avi Nesher
Starring: Michael Biehn, Patsy Kensit, Tracy Scoggins, Robert Culp, and Billy Blanks
Eddy Kay (Biehn) is a likable, mild-mannered watch repairman in the L.A. area. After instinctively rescuing some people from a house fire, memories and flashbacks are triggered in his mind, and he even randomly speaks Hungarian and knows martial arts techniques. Eddy thinks he is going crazy, but with the help of Dr. Anna Nolmar (Kensit), he goes on a search for the truth about his identity. While this is happening, boatloads of badguys are after them, including the sinister Mr. Brown (Blanks), and Ms. Blue (Scoggins). It all comes to a head in Oracle, AZ at a place called the Lang Institute. We won’t give away anything plotwise, but here’s a one-word hint: “SuperSoldiers”.
Michael Biehn brings his usual excellent performance and presence to this film, which is more intelligent than other fare of this kind. For example, the name Eddy Kay is most likely a subtle reference to Kafka and The Trial, and its protagonist Josef K, and the travails of Eddy Kay are certainly “Kafkaesque” as they say. If this seems pretentious, blame the movie, not me. But back in reality, we have Billy Blanks as Mr. Brown (remember how all the Power Rangers’ uniforms were color-coded by race/gender? I guess marry that to Reservoir Dogs (1992), which Timebomb predated by one year), who wears a spiffy three-piece suit and black gloves. Blanks and Biehn fight twice in the movie.
Timebomb was certainly the Unknown (2011) of its day, one man’s search for his identity as everyone around him tries to kill him and there’s no one to trust. Add in some Altered States (1980) and a dash of They Live (1988), throw in a bunch of B-movie names and there you have it. If this sounds too much like a Sci-Fi slog, fear not. While there are some Science-Fiction-y strands to the plot, they’re usually worthy and never sink into slog territory. There’s plenty of action as well.
Thanks to some above-average elements, such as Michael Biehn and some interesting ideas, Timebomb makes for a quality night of VHS fun.
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett