Ben's Review of Timecop
There are a surprising amount of moments in "Timecop" that flash some kind of value or quality. Visually, the film itself is a pleasure to watch. Van Damme is at the top of his game in terms of his physical capabilities, and the action sequences are done quite well. The only problem is that the film's insanely linear story and blatantly predictable outcome rob the picture of having any kind of lasting effect on its audience. "Timecop" is another let down.
In 1994, Walker (Van Damme) gets attacked at his house by a bunch of criminals. His wife and unborn daughter are killed in the process. Ten years later, time travel has become a definite possibility. Walker learns that there is a corrupt senator who is using the time travel for his own personal gain. He needs to stop this from happening, while simultaneously uncovering the mystery of his wife's death. The predictability doesn't necessarily come in the film's plot, but in the execution of it. Mark Verheiden takes the easy route in several instances throughout the course of the screenplay. Because of this, you'll see things coming from a mile away; including one-liners and premeditated character exposition.
The action sequences are actually top notch in this picture. Watching Van Damme do what he does best in this film was absolutely entertaining without a doubt. The well done visuals accompany some pretty well choreographed fight scenes. The pretty well done cinematography is actually thanks to Peter Hyams, who does cinematography and direction in this film. These aspects were definitely a breath of fresh air, while viewing a film that was drowning itself with dimwitted linearity. Van Damme himself puts at least enough effort into the film to be believable in some way, and the rest of the cast as well pretty much does their part.
As mentioned before, the disappointed comes in Peter Hyam's definite insecurity and Mark Verheiden's inability to concoct individualistic qualities. Surrounded by a shell of intrigue, these two individuals manage to hit every conceivable cliche possible. Its almost as if they don't think they can concoct something original so they incorporate recycled elements from other films. This nearly killed the entire picture. Van Damme and the rest of the cast is primed up and ready to go. Each actor for the most part does what they are supposed to do, and with solid cinematography, and well done fight sequences, each department is let down by a flawed director and a mediocre screenplay. The film's lackluster outcome might have something to do with the stress of the Peter Hyams, who attempted to do two jobs at the same time. The only thing that is certain is that "Timecop" goes from a potential entertainer, to a run of the mill bore.