Timecop was created and co-written by Mike Richardson and Mark Verheiden, who along with Ron Randall, had presented the character’s adventures in the pages of Dark Horse Comics. It is star Jean-Claude Van Damme’s highest-grossing film as a lead actor and one of his better films, as well as the home of what is probably his most ridiculous split ever — until he did the Volvo commercial that is.
The Time Enforcement Commission (TEC) keep time travel for being used for anything illegal and they get their finding thanks to Senator Aaron McComb (Ron Silver, who much like Chris Sarandon, will always screw you over). Police officer Max Walker has been offered a position but is unsure until his wife Melissa (Mia Sara, Legend, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) is killed.
Fast forward ten years and now Max is a TEC vet under the command of Commissioner Eugene Matuzak (Bruce McGill, D-Day from Animal House). He goes back to 1929 to stop his former partner from making money from the stock market crash. That’s when he learns that he’s working for Senator McComb, who is stealing money for his upcoming presidential campaign.
Atwood attempts to kill himself by jumping off a building, but Max catches him and brings him to the future for a trial. He refuses to testify and is brought back to 1929 to resume his fall.
Max then meets his new rookie partner Sarah Fielding and they go back to 1994 to investigate McComb and his business partner Jack Parker. The future older McComb comes back in time and tells his younger self to not touch him and how the computer chip will change their lives. Max’s partner turns on him and he barely escapes to a future where McComb has shut down the TEC and is ready to become President. Even though his boss doesn’t know about this alternative timeline, he still sends Max into an experimental time machine and sacrifices his life.
Back in 1994, Fielding is murdered and Max discovers that his wife was pregnant. He goes against all the rules and warns her that she will be killed. That night, both the 1994 and 2004 Max team up to defeat McComb’s killers, but Max ends up shoving the young and old versions of the villain together. As same matter can’t be in the same place, they disappear and our hero goes back to the…I’m not going to say back to the future. Back to his own timeline.
Back in 2004, Walker finds that he has fixed the timeline and his wife has survived. Sometimes breaking the rules pays off. For example, this movie follows nearly none of Van Damme’s movie tropes, save the split that he uses.
There would be no Van Damme starring sequel, but there was a nearly forgotten ABC series in 1997 and a direct-to-video sequel, Timecop 2: The Berlin Decision, in 2003.
Universal, director Peter Hyams, producer Moshe Diamant and Jean-Claude would go on to make the greatest sports movie about hockey and terrorists ever set in Pittsburgh next — Sudden Death. But that’s another story for another time.