Critic Reviews



Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The desire to go back in time to change things -- or just to visit -- is so central to the experience of being alive and stuck in time that Timecop has a built-in power. It's a power the film, a satisfying science-fiction thriller, takes full advantage of.
Boston Globe
There's been talk about Van Damme deepening his excursions into acting. Wisely, though, he keeps Timecop on a comic strip level. [16 Sep 1994, p.72]
Years of tireless persistence have begun to work in Mr. Van Damme's favor. It's hard not to enjoy his energy, even if his acting gifts still leave a lot to be desired. The fact is that he looks good, behaves affably and kicks with gusto, which is quite enough to satisfy the demands of Timecop.
Van Damme once again bends and twists his muscular frame to superhuman excess, but his Belgian tonsils have all the flexibility of the Himalayas when it comes to splurting out his one-liners.
Timecop, a low-rent "Terminator," is the kind of movie that is best not thought about at all, for that way madness lies.
Timecop is good dumb fun, but it's likely to receive the same sentence most Van Damme projects do: a few weeks in movie theaters and eternity on video store shelves and cable television.
The plot is more confusing than clever, and the only actor who seems to be having any fun is Silver, who's at his best throwing masochistic hissy fits at his younger, not-quite-so-evil self.
As a shoot-'em-up, blast-'em-to-pieces film, it's not half bad. As a futuristic time travel movie, however, it has some very serious problems.
Van Damme is compelling only when he takes his clothes off, which he doesn't do often enough here.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Director Peter Hyams strives hard to maintain a light and entertaining touch, lifting Timecop slightly above its formulaic restraints. On the one hand, there's a pleasing freshness to the movie, thanks to lots of energy and a little playful wit. On the other, there's something deeply fatiguing about this picture. Maybe it's the formula, maybe it's all that time travel, but you just can't help thinking you've seen it all before. Must be deja vu. [21 Sep 1994]
Initially an amiable sci-fi thriller that toys with the paradoxes inherent in time travel, it finally gets drunk on them. It becomes an incomprehensible stew of versions and revisions, until there's no there there and no then then.
For the most part, Hyams' lackluster direction and the repetitive quality of the action sequences squander an intriguing premise and impressive production design, leaving few moments that elicit the sort of “Wow!” response such fare needs in order to prosper.
It's dumb, to be sure, but then again, so were most of the old movie cliffhangers, from which Timecop is obviously derived.
USA Today
Timecop's conversation piece is the scene in which Van Damme springs into the air amid hand-to-hand combat, finessing a perfect split atop his kitchen counter. Though definitely ooo-and-aaah stuff, it falls short of landing Timecop the 3-star review earned here by Van Damme's Hard Target. [16 Sep 1994, p.5D]

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