“Timecop” starred of course; Van Damme, as well as Ron Silver, Mia Sara, Gloria Rueben and Bruce McGill. It was directed by Peter Hyams who also directed some entertaining films like “Running Scared” and “The Presidio”. As well as some other Van Damme movies that I really enjoyed like “Sudden Death” and the most recent “Enemies Closer”, a small budget film from 2013 that I recommend for any Van Damme fans out there who haven’t seen it.
This movie was based on the anthology comic from Dark Horse Comics and follows Max Walker an agent for the Time Enforcement Commission. So of course, time-travel is now possible. Agent Walker will try to stop a corrupt senator who coincidentally voted for the use of time-travel, from using it himself to go back in time to fund his presidential campaign. Something Walker is motivated to do because his wife was murdered ten-years earlier, and if he cannot go back and save her, he will not let a politician go back to steal and money illegally.
Now like I said this is Van Damme’s highest growing film narrowly edging out “Universal Solider” from 1992 and it came out during the massive run of Van Damme’s action movie dominance. Admittedly, after a very cool opening scene set in the 1800’s with a man gunning down some confederate soldiers with a couple automatic weapons, the film does start out relatively routine.
We get all the Van Damme-ism’s. We get some cheesy dialogue, a show of flexibility, blended with humor as Van Damme stops a crime. We get the love scene with a little afternoon delight with some boobies and Van Damme butt-cheeks, and early on this movie looks like it will follow the course of many other Van Damme movies.
But for me this movie changes in one scene later in the first-act where Scott Lawrence as Spota, perfectly delivers some, honestly exposition heavy dialogue that does actually set things up very well. From there the story-line follows a fun path that weaves time-travel in without any glaring plot holes. Yes, there certainly are some in this story but none were enough to pull me out of it, with most being easy to look over.
We are then introduced to Senator McComb played excellently by Ron Silver. I think he was the perfect villain for this role. His performance was great. He portrayed a perfect blend of arrogance, sarcasm and ruthlessness that made him a very imposing antagonist, despite his lack of physical prowess. Silver also have some entertaining chemistry with Van Damme in a couple scenes that reek of male bravado, and they come off very effectively.
This script keeps the pace moving. Shows a clear focus on the story, rather than just the action and with some solid side characters to fill the script, there was a good balance of story, acting, and action that in my opinion make this one of Van Damme’s most complete films.
Now that is not saying there isn’t some action in this movie because there is more than plenty of it. We get a handful of fun action sequences that are nothing but nostalgic today. This film has all the punching, kicking, knife fights and gunplay and uses a smooth balance of it all throughout the story-line. That honestly to me, result in some classic moments.
Now one thing I liked about this film was something that can often hinder time-travel movies which is the continuity. I think this movie did a good job of implementing different time-periods that all added some cool elements to the story, did some explaining of how Senator McComb was making his money and the story-line still managed to have a good flow to it.
Like I said this movie keeps the story progressing and has some fun twists and turns and delivers a solid third-act climax that created some fun tension. There were also some ridiculously amusing henchmen in this movie that looked like they were pulled straight from the WWE, that always make me laugh.
Plus, we get two versions of Van Damme fighting the bad guys in the finale. We get some younger 1994 Van Damme and we get future Van Damme with the perfectly blown out hair helmet, like he was trying out his best impersonation of Martin Riggs, but less… edgy and maybe more Head and Shoulders promo.
Overall though, even after all the years this is a fun movie and when grading it against other action movies from the mid 90’s it still certainly holds up well. It was a solid movie for its time, and still is a fun nostalgic film from the JCVD collection. It did have some flaws, the dialogue was cheesy unintentionally at times, Van Damme’s performance was also, but he still delivers more than enough charm to the role to make it all worth the time.