The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at] I'd love to check out what you got. And check out my book, Chad in Accounting, over on Amazon.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Timecop: The Berlin Decision (2003)

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I think I caught this film on the Sci-Fi channel. I don't really remember. I only watched it because the original Timecop, which had DTVC Hall of Famer Jean-Claude Van Damme, was pretty hilarious, and I was hoping this would be equally as funny.

Timecop: The Berlin Decision stars Jason Scott Lee as a timecop working 20 years after the Van Damme movie. There's a baddie who's escaped prison and is going back in time to eliminate all the current timecops' ancestors, which would in turn kill them. The bad guy was in jail to begin with, because he went back in time to kill Hitler, and the whole thing was a disaster. So Scott Lee has to visit all his ancestors and stop the baddie from offing them, and eventually he makes it to the late 90s, where his dad is teaching a younger version of the baddie in a college course on time travel. After an awkward fight scene where Scott Lee pummels the younger baddie, who doesn't know how to fight yet, everything ends all right.

As a huge Highlander: The Series fan, I'm used to good period sets and clothing and what not. Timecop: TBD falls somewhat short of the Highlander standard. They look all right, but they also look like they were done on a weak budget. I'd say worse than the sets and the outfits, was how bad Scott Lee seemed to stand out in each scene. The timecop agency doesn't do a good job of making their agents blend in, and I'm surprised any mission ever succeeds.

With Jason Scott Lee in a movie, I'm expecting some nice martial arts action. I didn't get it here. Now I'm suck with a substandard bad action film, with nothing to root for. If I'm a film maker, and I've just got word that we've signed Scott Lee to the picture, I'm rewriting the thing to include some major fight scenes. It just makes sense. As Wilford Brimley would say, "It's the right thing to do."

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The Timecop franchise has not only spawned the films, but also a TV show. If you ask me, the whole thing's kind of a wasted property. As in this film, they really don't do anything cute with the idea of time travel. Everyone's done the "let's kill Hitler" thing. Why don't they go back and find out if Shakespeare was really gay? Or if Abe Lincoln was gay? Or the Knights Templar? What if they offered time travel vacation packages where Cubs fans can go back and watch their team win a World Series? I'd love to see one where a guy plans to go back and fill Al Capone's vault right before Geraldo opens it, and Jason Scott Lee has to stop him, because the respectability Geraldo would gain from that would cause an apocalyptic catastrophe ten years later. I can't imagine I'm the only one who'd want to see that.

I'm not sure what to tell you about this film. Absolutely don't buy it or rent it. Maybe watch it when it's on TV, but only if you've got nothing better going on. It's not that bad, but it's just not that good either. It's just a whole lot of blah.

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  1. You know what? I actually really enjoyed this one. I thought the fights were well designed and although the plot became a mess of "if I kill my own grandmother I cease to exist" I still enjoyed it. Loved the scene in the chinese restaurant when the chef and the waitress got in on the fight like it was second nature to them. Cost me 99c as well, which is a plus.

  2. I haven't seen this since I wrote the review almost four years ago, but I guess according to that, I wasn't a fan of the fight scenes. Also according to my review, it sounds like 99c is about right for this, so that's a definite plus. It sounds like I'll have to see it again at some point, find out if it's aged better.

  3. This had a couple of decent fights towards the end, but getting there was very close to a slog.

    Also: next week we are doing another theme week ala Heavener: Thomas Ian Griffith week!

  4. Nice, I can't wait to see what you have for that. I've had a few Griffith films on my radar and just haven't gotten to them. Maybe a your reviews will push me in one direction or the other.