With The Expendables 2 raking in the moolah at the U.S. Box Office, it’s no surprise that much of it has to do with the Big Screen return of the Muscles from Brussels himself, Jean Claude Van Damme. Contrary to what others may say, JCVD hasn’t been languishing in DTV purgatory, but has instead honed himself into a much better actor than most give him credit for. With such DVD gems like Wake of Death and In Hell, Van Damme has expanded himself from the Belgian one-liner toting kick machine with an ass into an individual who can create an atmosphere around him that can speak volumes. Van Damme’s stunning portrayal of himself in Mabrouk El-Mechri’s JCVD should be ample proof of this.
Timecop, however, speaks no volumes of Jean Claude’s acting range, nor does it foreshadow anything that provides the Belgian with an ounce of thespian depth, but it does, however, provide this:
Yes, it provides Van Damme doing splits, one pair of naked tits and the Belgian Buttkicker the chance to plow Mia Sara like a horny Ox in a drought ridden rice field. Forget that it’s 1994, ditch the awful futuristic stage design and revel at the fact that somebody’s doing splits in their kitchen while being assaulted by James Lew himself and you’ll see that there’s a fucking reason why this movie became a talking point on “Friends.”
However, like many of Van Damme’s other films, the plot is lacking in the plot department (which really isn’t a bad thing actually). JCVD plays Max Walker, a poor sap of a Cop who helps to enforce time, drinks himself stupid to videos of his dead wife who got fried by an explosion in 1994 (happening shortly after her savage plugging by the likes of me, errr,…..Van Damme), and has to deal with the sarcastic villainy of Senator Aaron McComb, played to perfection by the late Ron Silver.
The fights themselves in Timecop are short and sweet, with JCVD utilizing more stuntmen for some of his nastier falls and dives, while he takes it upon himself to kick, punch, and kick some more. The first action scene in particular, where he faces off with his former Time Enforcement partner, features him doing the splits, walking on walls, spouting some shit about boxing and beating somebody half to death with two sticks. However, both the aforementioned encounter and his knife fight with the almighty James Lew appeared more savage than it actually was thanks to the magic of movie editing. In particular, Van Damme’s knife fight with Lew only features him parrying the knife of his would-be attacker by waving it up and down, with various angles of the same action spliced together to make it look dangerous. Oh, and there’s tits here too:
With boobs, kicks, time travel, and lots of fucking explosions, who WOULDN’T be surprised that this was Van Damme’s most successful film? Couple all of that with some solid performances from the likes of Bruce McGill and Gloria Reuben (along with Van Damme I must say, despite what I said earlier) to round out the cast and you have yourself a nice little action gem from the nineties. With the Expendables 2 being the big return to the big screen for JCVD, it’s not a bad thing to look back at one of his most profitable films ever while sporting one of the weirdest mullets he’s had since Hard Target. Max Walker was right. “I’m still kicking. I must be on Broadway.”