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Entry updated 12 July 2021. Tagged: Film.

Film (1994). Largo International N.V. in association with JVC Entertainment present a Signature/Renaissance/Dark Horse Entertainment Production. Directed by Hyams. Executive producer Mike Richardson; producers include Sam Raimi. Written by Mark Verheiden from a story by Richardson and Verheiden, based on the Comics series created by Richardson and Verheiden. Cast includes Scott Bellis, Bruce McGill, Gloria Reuben, Mia Sara, Jason Schombing, Ron Silver and Jean-Claude Van Damme. 98 minutes. Colour.

Belgian martial-arts performer Van Damme is here asked to extend his range to the requirements of a romantic lead, a not wholly convincing exercise. He plays Max Walker, whose wife (Sara) was mysteriously murdered in 1994, and who now, in 2004, is a timecop for the TEC (Time Enforcement Commission) (see Time Police). Ambitious presidential hopeful Senator McComb (Silver) heads the government committee that finances TEC, which has effectively become an arm of government. Walker is sent back to investigate 1994 and later 1929 because somebody has been sending back operatives into history to make a profit through patents, cheap stocks, etc. The source of the corrupt senator's campaign funds becomes clear. The film ends in a flurry of Time Paradox, less stringently worked out than those of, say, Disaster in Time (1991). It is all diverting and proficient, with plenty of action, and the emphasis on governmental conspiracy that is a Hyams trademark, but evokes memories of other films that have done it better. The time machine, for instance, recalls Back to the Future (1985). Timecop (1994) by S D Perry is the novelization.

Timecop represents another entry into film production of a comic-book company, Mike Richardson's Dark Horse, which earlier in the same year had a fantasy hit with the joky Superhero movie The Mask (1994). Director Hyams has a long but not especially exciting connection with filmed sf, having made Capricorn One (1977), Outland (1981, his best) and 2010 (1984; vt 2010: The Year We Make Contact). [PN]


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