Back to the Van Damme Future
After a scientist unlocks the secrets of time travel the American Government form a special force called TEC to protect the present by protecting the past. On the day he is meant to start work as a TEC cop Max Walker (Jean-Claude Van Damme - Hard Target) is attacked and sees his wife Melissa (Mia Sara - Ferris Bueller's Day Off) killed. 10 years later and Max has become a respected TEC officer but when he is forced to go back to the past he discovers that Senator McComb (Ron Silver - Blue Steel) is employing people to travel back in time in order to change the present to fund his political campaigning. But how does Max bring down a highly respected Senator when all those who work for him are scared of what McComb will do to their families.
So "Timecop" is a sci-fi movie all about time travel and such mind boggling subjects such as changes in the past affecting the present. But to be honest whilst there is the time travel side of "Timecop" it is not the centre of attention because this is firstly a 90's action movie, a Jean-Claude Van Damme action movie at that. As such whilst there is mention of the ripple effect caused by 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 a few 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, "Timecop" is one of Van Damme's more enjoyable movies.
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 in time to alter the present. And there is some fun had from this, the first scene of time travel sees a solitary cowboy holding up a group of soldiers escorting gold, using a couple of flashy modern machine guns which is surprisingly entertaining. And a scene which takes us back to the Wall Street crash is just as much fun, in fact it is even a little clever. But whilst the trouble of going back to the past is mentioned "Timecop" the movie isn't really about the danger of the ripple effect. Nor is it really about the story of a politician changing the past to fund his present political campaign or the trauma which TEC cop Max 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 ends up 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 scene of Van Damme doing the splits as he balances 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 excite many with a stunning futuristic vision because it is pretty 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 "Timecop" 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 doesn't have a great deal 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 action then it will most definitely satisfy.