Damme Does Time Ranger
Never interupt me when I'm talking to myself - McComb
"Timecop" is a science fiction movie all about time travel mentioning such mind boggling subjects such as changes in the past affecting the present. But to be honest whilst a science fiction movie all the time travelling stuff is not the centre of attention because this is an action movie, a Jean-Claude Van Damme action movie at that. As such whilst there is mention of the ripple effect of changing the past what we really get is action, be it Van Damme dealing with bad guys with his trademark martial arts skills or some shooting and big explosions. And to be honest whilst there are also moments of tongue in cheek humour, or I hope it is purposeful tongue in cheek humour, it is one of Van Damme's more enjoyable movies.
After a scientist perfects the ability to travel back to the past the American Government form a special force called TEC to protect the now by protecting the past. On the day he is meant to start work as a TEC cop Max Walker (Jean-Claude Van Damme - A.W.O.L.) is attacked and sees his wife Melissa (Mia Sara - Ferris Bueller's Day Off) killed. 10 years later and Max is a much respected TEC officer but when he is forced to go back to the past he discovers that Senator McComb (Ron Silver) is employing people to travel back in order to change the now to fund his political campaigning. But how does Max bring down a highly respected Senator when all those who work for him are scared off what he will do to their families.
Okay so the basis of "Timecop" is the whole time travel element where we have a police force in charge of making sure people don't go back to the past to change the now. There is some enjoyment from this, are first scene of time travel with a solitary cowboy holding up a group of soldiers for gold with a couple of flashy modern machine guns is amusingly clever. And a scene which takes us back to the Wall Street crash is just as much fun even a little clever. But whilst the trouble of going back to the past is mentioned "Timecop" isn't really about the danger of the ripple effect. Now is it really about either the story of a politician changing the past to fund his present political campaign or the trauma which TEC cop Walker suffered years earlier when his wife was killed.
Nope "Timecop" for all its storylines and science fiction is an action movie fuelled by kick butt action, big explosions and mass gun fire. That may make it sound a bit cliche but tie that it in with futuristic weapons and the ability to go back to the past and it is entertaining. Of course for all the big gun battles and even bigger explosions what really takes centre stage is Jean-Claude Van Damme kicking butt in his own snappy style. Throw in an obligatory splits scene as he balance between kitchen tops and for those who want some Van Damme action will be satisfied.
Of course there is the futuristic aspect of "Timecop" as not only do we have the equipment to send people back to the past but also futuristic cars. Well to be honest it isn't going to set anyone alight with a stunning futuristic vision because it is quite rudimentary. The cars of the future look like cars now just with a ton of metal blocks plonked randomly on their bodywork and even the futuristic weapons are not that stunning.
But it works because this is a movie all about Jean-Claude Van Damme and in many ways it is one of his better performances. The humour and cheesy dialogue he delivers is done in a tongue in cheek manner, or at least that's how it comes across and whilst the big hair is distracting he looks the part of a futuristic cop. Ironically whilst "Timecop" is all about Van Damme you end up remembering it more for Ron Silver as conniving politician McComb and the beautiful Mia Sara who does not have a lot to do but what she gets she does well and I am not just on about the sex scene.
What this all boils down to is that if you watch "Timecop" because it is a time travel movie then prepare to be disappointed. But if you want some Jean-Claude Van Damme then it will most definitely satisfy.
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