Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Timecop (1994) * * 1/2

Cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mia Sara, Ron Silver, Bruce McGill

Directed by Peter Hyams

Time definitely isn’t on Van Damme’s side as he plays a member of the TEC (Time Enforcement Agency), an agency that monitors times and protects it from would be meddlers that would take advantage of time to get rich in the process. Such a meddler is Senator McComb (Well played by the late Silver) who plans to buy the presidency, to which Van Damme has to stop at all costs while also wrestling with his conscience whether to save his wife that died years ago. Timecop is the prime definition of “Big budget bore” A movie that lacks the visceral punch of Van Damme’s earlier Universal Soldier and Double Impact, while not showcasing Van Damme’s screen presence as well as Hard Target. The initial idea is actually quite intriguing, in fact the story and premise aren’t what’s wrong with Timecop, what is, is how Timecop settles into being merely an excuse to watch Van Damme dispose of Ron Silver’s henchman without really breaking a sweat. Normally this would be fine if such a good idea wasn’t being wasted. Indeed what makes Timecop ultimately so disappointing is that it should’ve been so much better, as Hyams chooses to often resist exploration to do such a premise justice. The action is well staged, Hyams keeps Timecop paced well and Silver makes a great bad guy, but ultimately the film settles for mediocrity when more ambition could’ve made this a sci-fi classic.

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