Bullet Points: Timecop
In this installment of Bullet Points, I have the privilege of presenting to you another of my favorite Van Damme movies of all-time, Timecop.
Timecop successfully combined sci-fi and action elements along with the physicality that only Jean-Claude Van Damme can bring to the table. I thought it was a good story with some twists and turns and like in any time travel related movie as long as you don’t overthink the whole time travel aspect of it, it really is an enjoyable ride.
- Our Hero: Jean-Claude Van Damme plays Max Walker, a Washington D.C. cop who is recruited for a new project known as the Time Enforcement Commission or TEC. Walker is a model officer, not using his time travel ability to change the past and prevent his wife (played by Mia Sara of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off fame) from dying. This is a huge motivator for him in taking down those who are using time travel for their own personal gain.
- Best Splits Ever?: When Walker is attacked in his apartment by some thugs it provides cinematic history with what I believe are the best Van Damme splits ever. Yes… you’ve seen him do it many times before, but did you ever see him perform them using kitchen countertops? Most people would be in great physical pain if they did the splits, Van Damme does some jumping splits to avoid electrocution… what an amazing human being.
- Our Villain: Ron Silver plays Senator McComb, not only is he the head of the TEC oversight committee, he has ambitions of being the next President of the United States and most importantly he’s a crooked politician. McComb is using time travel as a way to generate money for his presidential campaign. When Walker finds out about McComb’s dirty ways he makes it his mission to take McComb down. I really like Silver in this role, he made such an impression on me as the villain in Timecop that when I’d later see him in the film Cutaway, I kept waiting to find out he was a dirty cop.
Timecop is Van Damme’s highest grossing film and really marked the peak of his initial run in Hollywood. This one has always had a high rewatchability factor for me, which is why it is among my favorite JCVD films. If you’ve never seen Timecop watch it. If you haven’t seen it in some time, go back and watch it.
But before you go watch, here’s a few more Bullet Points…
- Hideous Cars: The “futuristic cars” in Timecop are hideous. They are clunky and in no way aerodynamic. They may not run on gasoline, so I guess in that respect they are superior vehicles, but they are nothing to look at.
- Balance The Budget: Why do politicians have such a hard time balancing the budget? As I stated earlier, the biggest factor motivating McComb to turn to the darkside was his need for money and a lot of it, so he could win the presidential election. My thing is, instead of trying to find ways to get more money, how about working on saving some of the money you already have. McComb has a lot of guys on payroll including that giant mullet guy with metal shin guards. Cut some of those guys loose and maybe you wouldn’t have to steal so much money McComb!
- Name Dropper: Not sure why, but every time I see the scene where Walker goes back to 1929 and Atwood calls in his heavy who has to name drop John L. Sullivan to Walker before he “fights” him I crack up.
- Matuzak: Van Damme has a quality cast to work with, the previously mentioned Silver and Sara and also Bruce McGill, who plays Matuzak. The TEC boss and one of the only people in the film that Max Walker can trust. As Matuzak, McGill brings a different vibe to the role than the prototypical, hard nosed police captain type role you see saw often in action movies.
- Helpful Hint: If Timecop taught me anything, it is that if you ever have the opportunity to travel in time and you come into contact with your past self or future self, make sure you and your other self don’t touch. You see, the same matter can not occupy the same space at the same time. If it does, bad things happen. I’m not sure how accurate any of that is, BUT do you really want to take that chance?