Friday, September 12, 2008

REVIEW: Timecop


Year: 1994
Director: Peter Hyams
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mia Sara, Ron Silver, Bruce McGill, Gloria Reuben
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA: Rated R

Timecop is considered a classic by me. I have seen the film so many times and still think its one of the better Jean-Claude Van Damme films. Timecop has been shown many times on TV and even around the world. I wouldn't go as far as to say it was a box office hit, grossing only $101 million worldwide, but it did pretty well for the size of this film. You wouldn't expect a film like this with a low budget, decent set of cast to surprisingly do great at the box office so Ill give it that. I have seen the film so many times that it kind of grew on me.

Plot Outline:
Max Walker (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is a policeman who's been offered a new job as a member of the "Time Enforcement Commission". Since time travel has now become a reality, it could be used for the wrong reasons so there needs to be people in place to stop villains from taking advantage of it. One night after receiving a phone call, his wife is killed and he almost gets killed. He thinks to himself everyday how he could have gone back and change everything before his wife gets murdered. Years later on one of his missions, he uncovers a plot by Senator McComb (Ron Silver) to become rich and get into the White House by cheating his way in.

The story of Timecop isn't a very good one. Like I said with my past movie reviews of Click and Deja Vu, time traveling movies end up being not good except for Back to the Future. The problem we have with these types of movies are plot holes. We always seem to get them when where watching a movie about time traveling and that's the case with Timecop. The story started off interesting, but it wasn't fleshed out enough. The whole idea of there being "people" to stop criminals from taking advantage of time travel sounds kind of pointless. It kind of makes you wonder why don't they just try closing time travel instead of letting it happen, but with people in charge? It just isn't well thought out. With this said, Timecop still has many moments that are enjoyable to watch. The film can be really entertaining and is easily considered a popcorn flick. Its a mindless action movie that can be somewhat fun at times.

The acting in Timecop is average at best. The cast doesn't feel like their really trying that hard with their performance's. I thought Jean-Claude Van Damme was just not serious enough. He seems to fit the part of being the main character in the film when you compare him to some of his other cast members, but he doesn't wow me with his performance. I thought Mia Sara was alittle too Innocent to be playing Jean-Claude Van Damme's wife, but I also thought she was pretty good looking. I think she did an average job for a small budget film like this. I thought Ron Silver gave a pretty good performance because he actually looked like he was having fun. He makes a good opponent opposite Van Damme and I enjoyed every bit of his work here.

The visual look of Timecop is pretty good. The film was remastered awhile back by the guys at Universal and I think they did a pretty goof job here. The films source is cleaned up with only marginal film grain here and their. Colors are somewhat muted with not much vibrancy. Their is color in the film, but it just doesn't wow me like some other films have. I didn't notice any edge enhancements which is always a good thing. Detail is pretty considerable. Some close up shots reveal some clarity and detail in the characters while far away shots tend to look somewhat soft. This isn't a great looking movie, but it looks pretty good for a movie of its time.

The music of Timecop is almost non existent. I mean sure we get the usual music that plays during the credits, but it just feels like it doesn't belong there. Their were moments where I was thinking to myself why doesn't Timecop have a better soundtrack. I was expecting a film like this that's an action thriller to really benefit from great SCI-FI music, but I was let down. What we do get is crisp dialogue that is well heard and maybe some bass rumbles here and there. The bass feels pretty flat and old. I think Universal should have also remastered the soundtrack for the film because the bass feels pretty outdated compared to other older movies.

Timecop isn't a film that's going to satisfy you if your looking for a great action thriller with great story and just an all around top cast. The films story doesn't deliver, but the movie is still pretty damn fun. The cast is decent, but none of them look like their giving a 100%. The visual style of the film is pretty good and certainly fresh for a movie of its time. The soundtrack feels outdated and is in need of a remastering. Timecop isn't a great film, but its still watchable. The film is entertaining and easily makes for a popcorn flick. Id give it a rent if your looking for some mindless action fun.

Grade: C-


jaccstev said...

Another classic Farzan, but it's a good review as always though. Haven't found you write another recently releases film reviews, but hope you will make it one soon, how with Burn After Reading?

Farzan said...

Thanks, Im currently writing one for Burn After Reading that I will post early Monday. Sorry for the lack of recently released movie reviews, its just that their werent big releases lately. Nothing that had me excited untill BAR came out

Rudy said...

I'm a sucker for time travel movies. I like this movie quite a bit. IMO, Timecop was the last best movie for Jean-Claude Van Damme. Anything after that are just irrelevant.

I still have this movie on Laserdisc. I need to pick up the DVD.