MRR's Action Movie Month - "Timecop" Review

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When the ability to travel through time is perfected, a new type of law enforcement agency is formed. It's called Time Enforcement Commission or TEC. A cop, Max Walker, is assigned to the group. On the day he was chosen, some men attack him and kill his wife. Ten years later Max is still grieving but has become a good agent for the TEC. He tracks down a former co-worker who went into the past to make money. Max brings him back for sentencing but not after telling Max that Senator McComb, the man in charge of TEC, sent him. Max has his eye on McComb.
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MRR's Action Movie Month - "Timecop" Review

-- Rating: R
Length: 99 minutes
Release Date: September 16, 1994
Directed by: Peter Hyams
Genre: Action, Romance, and Sci-Fi

"Timecop" tells the story of a time-traveling security officer as he struggles to fight criminals. Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mia Sara, and Ron Silver, the movie follows the officer as he attempts to stop a corrupt senator from misusing the time travel system. For fans of action and science fiction, "Timecop" is certain to be a hit.

The story opens on Max Walker (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and his wife, Melissa (Mia Sara). The two are happily married, and Melissa is expecting a child. Just as she is about to break the news to Max, the couple is attacked. After Max has been beaten senseless and shot, he is forced to watch as the criminals use explosives to destroy his home and, presumably, his wife.

The movie flashes forward ten years, and viewers see that the bitter and heartbroken Max has moved on to become an officer at an agency that controls time travel. As an employee of the Time Enforcement Commission, he is responsible for ensuring that criminal forces do not use the technology for their own ends.

When Walker discovers that Senator McComb (Ron Silver) has hatched a devious plan to use the time travel technology to get rich, he feels compelled to stop it. As a founding member of the Time Enforcement Commission, McComb has unparalleled access to the time travel technology. Walker learns that McComb intends to create a monopoly and travels back in time to prevent a murder. In the process, Walker discovers that McComb was the one who had engineered the attack on Melissa and decides to save her in the process.

As with many films about time travel, "Timecop" requires audiences to overlook many complexities related to the space-time continuum. Once the viewer accepts the rules of time travel that are laid out by the movie, the plot flows smoothly. The structure of the film is intended to leave audience members wondering until the end, when the plot wraps up neatly. As always, the idea of time travel creates a fascinating premise and the opportunity for mesmerizing feats of technology. "Timecop" is filled with interesting gadgets, exciting transportation options, and mind-bending situations that are certain to delight all types of viewers.

The highlight of "Timecop" is Van Damme, who demonstrates remarkable acting ability. Although he is mainly known for his muscled physique and action-hero feats, the actor is believable as the heartbroken widower. Throughout the film, audiences have the chance to see him experience a range of emotions. Unlike many of his other films, "Timecop" gives Van Damme the opportunity to move beyond action scenes. He also spends a considerable amount of time in high-energy chase scenes and fight scenes, however, giving action fans their fill of adrenaline.

"Timecop" was released in 1994, before CGI effects reached the point where they were able to simulate reality. Wisely, the film's producers avoided using too many special effects. The movie uses technology to create the world of time travel but avoids moving too far into the realm of the unbelievable. The feat of time travel is achieved using a rocket car and a push-button return system, which is just unique enough to be interesting but not so far-fetched as to be outrageous. As a result, audiences are drawn in by the novel technology, but the focus stays on the story.

The supporting cast members in "Timecop" deliver impressive performances, creating a believable human world. Ron Silver is appropriately unnerving as the sleazy McComb, giving audience members reason to root against him. Although she doesn't have much screen time, Mia Sara is endearing as Melissa, and her chemistry with Van Damme lights up the screen. Other fleeting appearances add to the sense of excitement and energy of the futuristic film, creating a constant feeling of motion. As a result, "Timecop" moves quickly without losing viewers' interest along the way.

Overall, "Timecop" is an engaging, adrenaline-packed film. The premise of time travel is fascinating without going overboard, and the cast creates a believable series of human interaction. In the end, the combination of touching human relationships and exciting technological advances strikes the perfect balance. Even in the years since its release, the technology feels fresh and the story feels timely. For viewers who are interested in time travel, the film requires a suspension of disbelief; for fans of action movies or Jean Claude Van Damme, it is sure to be an immediate success. Although it is not appropriate for very young children, "Timecop" is an ideal selection for a gathering of adult friends.

Rating: 3 out of 5