Plot: What’s it about?
Max Walker (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is a police officer, but his beat isn’t on the street or behind a desk. He patrols the world of time travel, an area with infinite potential for corruption. When someone abuses the time travel field for financial or other personal gains, Walker and the other Time Enforcement Commission agents set things right again. Walker even has to go after a fellow TEC agent who is buying cheap stocks with a bright future, but the agent doesn’t seem to be in the plan alone. Walker discovers he was only doing as he was told by Senator Aaron McComb (Ron Silver), who seeks to use time travel to fund a presidential campaign. But without a cooperative witness, Walker can’t bring down McComb, who continues to use time travel to his advantage. As Walker pursues the investigation, will he be able to put McComb down or will Walker be lost in time?
Timecop is not a great movie, but it is a good movie by Jean-Claude Van Damme standards. In addition to solid action and slick visuals, Timecop has at least a noble attempt in the plot department. I know the elements were borrowed from other films, but for a Van Damme movie, that is a step up from the usual. This a B movie, without question, but director Peter Hyams makes his budget much larger than it was. The visuals have a slick, polished presence, while the action scenes come off well also, so Timecop ends up better than expected. As usual, Van Damme is pretty one dimensional, but for fans of his work, this is probably one of his better performances. Timecop is no action or sci/fi landmark, but for an afternoon with nothing else to do, it makes a fun watch and a good rental choice. This HD-DVD release has no extras, but does have a proper widescreen transfer and it looks damn good, so for fans, this is the version to check out.
Video: How does it look?
Timecop is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is what fans have waited for, as there was never a DVD release available in the original aspect ratio. While the original widescreen presentation alone is reason to be pleased, Universal has delivered a strong overall treatment here. The image is clean, especially for a catalog release and detail is fine, so clarity has a nice improvement here. I found colors to be bright and bold, while contrast is good, but a touch dark at times. In the end, this can’t compete with more recent hi-def releases, but for a catalog title, this is more than solid.
Audio: How does it sound?
I haven’t been impressed with previous soundtracks for this movie, so I wasn’t surprised that this Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 option fails to bring the noise. In truth, there isn’t much surround use to be reported, the mix remains rather reserved even in some rather tense sequences. There is a spark of life here and there, but even when the action kicks in, the surrounds don’t do a whole lot, so don’t expect dynamic presence. The dialogue sounds fine and the music is decently presented, but overall this soundtrack just doesn’t leave much of an impression. This disc also includes a French language track, as well as subtitles in English and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes no bonus materials.