* * * 1\2
Directed by: Peter Hyams
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mia Sara, Ron Silver, and Bruce McGill
In the future year of 2004, time travel is possible. But since the future has not happened yet, travelers can only go back in time. Because baddies want to go back in time to commit crimes, a new government agency, the Time Enforcement Commission, is formed to prevent and police criminal actions by people who travel in time. Max Walker (Van Damme) is chosen to be part of the TEC team. But since a bunch of thugs attacked and killed his beloved wife Melissa (Sara), Walker has hit the bottle and is living in the past, lamenting his lost love. But it hasn’t prevented him from being a top timecop, and his incorruptible nature has caught the ire of a very formidable foe, Senator McComb (Silver). McComb has his eye on the presidency, and all the millions of dollars it takes to get there, and is willing to do anything to achieve his power-hungry goals. When Fielding (Reuben) enters the picture, things get even more complicated. Can Walker stop McComb, other time-baddies, and possibly even time-rescue his wife in the process? Find out today…
It’s really no surprise as to why Timecop is one of the most popular and well-known Van Damme titles. It’s a completely mainstream, professionally-made product that contains thought-provoking ideas as well as classic Van Damme action scenes. JCVD gets all the best lines (90’s one-liners at their best), and the movie is as solid a piece of entertainment as you’re likely to find. Director Peter Hyams would re-team with Van Damme the next year for Sudden Death (1995), and is the father of John Hyams, who is a brilliant director in his own right, known for working with JCVD in Universal Soldier: Regeneration (2009), Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012), and Dragon Eyes (2012). So the bloodline continues.
Timecop also qualifies as one of our favorite items, a movie that takes place in the future which is now the past, in this case 2004. Max Walker’s powerful mullet must have been reassuring for viewers in 1994 to see, knowing they would still be fashionable ten years into the future. But were they fashionable in 1994? Regardless, Walker is the type of guy who tells purse-snatchers to read between the lines on his boot, and that’s good enough for us. Of course, Van Damme does more than one split, including one that saves his life, in an attempt to show viewers that they ARE necessary to constantly do, dammit.
This also qualifies as one of many movies in which there are two Van Dammes. As we always say, it must have been in his contract. The great Ron Silver was perfectly cast as the smug politician/baddie (hey, aren’t they one and the same?) His car even has the license plate SENATE, thus broadcasting to the world he’s an evil megalomaniac to be reckoned with. Add to Silver and Van Damme the beautiful Mia Sara, some sax on the soundtrack, the time-honored warehouse fight, and the fact that the special effects are all wonderfully pre-CGI, and you have a winner that trumps the lackluster competitor Stargate (1994) in just about every way. And it wouldn’t be a 90’s sci-fi movie without at least a little bit of VR. VR was huge in the 90’s. It found its way into movies like this, which don’t even really deal with VR. In the 90’s, VR was the future.
Also slated to be the future back then were minidisc players, and surely Timecop must be one of the only movies in history to feature one. Speaking of music, songs on the soundtrack include “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is” and “Time Won’t Let Me”, in that case covered by The Smithereens, and multiple shots of clocks get the viewers’ minds in the right space to appreciate the time-y goings-on.
In all, Timecop is a very well-written, well-directed, and just all-around well-made film. You’ve probably already seen it, but it certainly stands up to repeated viewings.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty
Also check out a review by our friends at Action Elite!