Welcome to 90 from the ‘90s; the movie-related post in which I watch, discuss and debate a film from the 1990s – a film that I’ve NEVER SEEN. Posting on a semi-regular basis, I aim to work my way through 90 movies that I’ve previously missed/avoided, recording my thoughts along the way.
I’m going to watch good films, bad films, forgotten classics, Oscar winners and everything in between. Some of these films you’ll be surprised I’ve never seen, others you’ll completely understand why I’ve avoided them for 20+ years.
The rules are as follows:
- The film must be from the 1990s (1990-1999)
- The film must be a movie I’ve not watched before
Today’s unseen ‘90s movie is…
This is going to become a common theme with these posts, but yes, it is true – I have never seen this movie.
Actually, I don’t know. Timecop isn’t a movie I’ve gone out of my way to avoid, it’s just one of those films I’ve just never gotten around to watching. Until now of course.
My knowledge of this film is very basic. I know that it stars Jean-Claude Van Damme; I know that it involves time travel (and presumably some kind of detective work); and I know that it is based on a comic. Other than this, I know very little about Timecop.
*Clicks the play button*
2mins – I’m two minutes in and so far, still knee deep in opening credits. However, the music that is accompanying these credits is very dramatic. Oh, and Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert were involved in this movie. I did not know this. I’m excited.
2mins 30secs – OK, so the film is starting and we’re in 1863.
4mins – Erm… a bad guy with automatic weapons in 1863? The time travel element must have started already! I’m still excited!
5mins 30secs – Hmm… a group of government officials are offering a brief explanation to time travel. It’s being explained that time travel is all too confusing to understand, so this is a VERY brief explanation about time travel. Instead of concentrating on the wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff, all we need to know is that the misuse of time travel can benefit terrorists and aid scum bags – and that’s never a good thing!
9mins 30secs – Van Damme is on screen; he’s just stopped a mugging and he’s just made an old lady very happy. If this isn’t a great introduction to a fine upstanding hero, then what is?!
11mins – Sound the sex scene klaxon! Van Damme is celebrating a good day of heroic deeds by sleeping with his wife! Oh… and his wife has something important to tell him. I’m going to hazard a guess and say she’s about to tell him she’s pregnant. Either that or they’re having lasagna for dinner.
14mins 30secs – OK, so the sex scene went in a different direction than I expected. A bunch of hoodlums have just attacked Van Damme at his home; they’ve shot him; and they’ve blown up his house, presumably killing his wife in the process. That’s not the way you want a sex session to end. Not at all.
19mins – Without any real explanation, Van Damme has now just materialised in the 1920s and he appears to be in full timecop mode – with no mention of what’s just happened. I can only presume that the death of his wife pushed him into the time travel programme and we’re now seeing an older and much more brutal Van Damme.
23mins – Yep, this seems to be the case.
26mins – Ooohh… there’s a discussion of a ‘rogue cop’. Van Damme is also acting his ass off.
27mins 30secs – A bit more talk about the rules of time travel – presumably to explain why Van Damme doesn’t just go back in time to stop his wife dying. I presume she died. It’s still not been explained yet. Either that or his pissed that his house blew up. One of these things is definitely playing on his mind. It’s got to be the house, right?
32mins – You can tell this is an early ‘90s movie about a cop – every so often, a sax solo plays in the background. All good ‘90s cop movies had sax solos playing in the background. If you were a saxophonist during the late ‘80s/early ‘90s you had job security in the movie biz.
37mins – Van Damme has just escaped being electrocuted by 50,000 volts. This scene is the most famous scene in Timecop. Even though I’ve never seen this movie, this scene has appeared on so many ‘stunt’ compilation features that I know it off by heart. I have to admit, it’s a damn good scene.
44mins – So Van Damme and his new partner have now travelled back in time to the budget-friendly era of 1994 – the same year the movie was made. Genius. Pure genius. If I was making a time travel movie today, I’d totally set it in 2018. I’d also get Jean-Claude Van Damme to star. I’d also hire a saxophonist.
53mins – I’m now passed the half-way point of the movie and I’m happy to admit I’m really enjoying Timecop. It’s clear that the budget was spent on the time travel effects, but who cares? With no money for huge stunts the film can instead give Van Damme room to do what he does best – kick some ass! He’s not carrying this movie – it’s fine as it is – but he is enhancing it.
55mins 30secs – Ah, shit! Van Damme just frozen someone’s arm! He then made a joke about not making the right quip when freezing someone’s arm!
1hr 07mins – Van Damme is now being framed for a murder he didn’t commit. Please tell me that a one-armed man is involved in this somehow? Oh… maybe it’s the guy whose arm froze off!
1hr 09mins – We’re now back at the mugging scene from the start of the movie. Maybe Van Damme can stop his house from blowing up?! Oh yeah, and maybe he can stop his wife from being killed too. Is she his wife? I’m still not sure?
1hr 11mins – Oh dear, Van Damme’s wife has just asked: “Where am I ten years from now?” Jeez… don’t answer that question, Jean-Claude. That question is up there with “Does this outfit make me look fat?” and “What are you thinking about right now?”.
1hr 12mins – Just in case you’re wondering what the answer to the above questions is, the default responses are: “You look beautiful” and “I was thinking about you – and how happy you make me.”
1hr 13mins – Hmm… time travel problems. Old Van Damme is stood watching young Van Damme locking lips with his wife. This is a bit creepy.
1hr 16mins – Van Damme is now trying to put right, what once when wrong. Anyone seen Scott Bakula?
1hr 20mins – There’s about another 15 minutes left in this movie and I am trying desperately not to Google it. Not because I’m bored of what’s going on – the film is midway through its grand finale – but because I’m so used to Googling movies I’m watching, to get some insights into the film. I want to know who scored the film? I want to know if everything turns out alright? I want to know if Van Damme got paid twice for playing two different versions of the same character? I want to know if the house is saved from destruction?
1hr 24mins – Van Damme is up against it right now. His wife is being held at gun point and the bad guy has just taken the piss out of all the high kicking Van Damme’s been doing. Low blow man. Low blow. He’s not just an action star – he’s an actor, damn it!
1hr 28mins – The house gets blown up AGAIN! Talk about a pisser of a day.
1hr 32mins – All is right with the world again – Van Damme is off home and the saxophonist is saxing to the max again! Oh and the house is back intact again! Now that’s what I call an ending.
Well, that was pretty good. Sure, not a great deal happens and the film relies heavily on Van Damme’s stunts, but for a Friday night rental Timecop ticks all the right boxes. Now, if only I could go back in time to when ‘Friday night rentals’ were a thing.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Timecop. One movie down; 89 to go.
- Read: Part #2