|Timecop is a 1994 science-fiction thriller film directed by Peter Hyams and co-written by Mike Richardson and Mark Verheiden. Richardson was also executive producer. The film is based on “Time Cop”, a serial written by Verheiden and drawn by Phil Hester and Chris Warner which appeared in the series Dark Horse Comics, published by Dark Horse Comics.
The film stars Jean-Claude Van Damme as a U.S. Federal agent in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when time travel is possible. It also stars Ron Silver as a rogue politician and Mia Sara as the agent’s wife. The story follows an interconnected web of episodes in the agent’s life (or perhaps lives) as he fights time-travel crime and investigates the politician’s unusually successful career.
Timecop remains Van Damme’s highest grossing film (breaking the $100,000,000 barrier for a worldwide gross). It was also regarded as one of Van Damme’s better films by critics who usually derided his acting ability.
In 1863, gold bullion is stolen from Confederate soldiers by a highwayman using laser-mounted machine pistols. 131 years later, the U.S. government creates the Time Enforcement Commission (TEC) to combat misuse of the new discovery of time travel, after discovering that the same gold bullion was used in a recent purchase. Senator Aaron McComb (Silver) volunteers to oversee the commission, and shortly afterward, police officer Max Walker (Van Damme) is offered a job as a TEC agent. Later that evening, Max is attacked by intruders at his suburban home and his wife Melissa (Sara) is killed in an explosion.
Ten years later, Walker is now an experienced TEC Agent, and is sent to 1929 to arrest his former partner Atwood (Jason Schombing) for taking advantage of the U.S. stock-market crash, Atwood reveals that he is working for McComb, who needs money for his presidential campaign. Terrified by McComb’s threat to murder his ancestors, meaning he would never have existed, Atwood tries to kill himself by jumping out a window. Walker catches him as he falls and takes him back to 2004, but Atwood refuses to testify against McComb and sends himself back to 1929 to the same point where he jumped previously, this time falling to his death. Having being haunted by his memories of Melissa’s murder ten years previous, Walker vows to stop McComb.
Walker is then partnered with agent Fielding (Gloria Reuben), and sent back to 1994, where they find a young Senator McComb arguing in the McComb/Parker Systems building with Jack Parker about their company’s new computer chip. Parker offers to buy McComb’s share of the company, but at that moment, the older McComb arrives from 2004 to warn the younger McComb that the chip will make huge profits. A fight ensues when Walker is then double-crossed by Fielding, who reveals she works for McComb. McComb then kills Parker, wounds Fielding while attempting to kill Walker, and manages to escape back to 2004.
When Walker returns to 2004, he finds that things have gotten worse: The TEC is closing down, McComb owns the computer company and is a powerful political figure, TEC director Matuzak (Bruce McGill) has no recollection of Max at all and the TEC staff have no memory of McComb’s actions in 1994. Realizing that he has to fix things, Walker commandeers the time machine with the help of Matuzak, who sacrifices himself when McComb’s men try to stop Walker from escaping.
Finding himself once more in 1994, Walker finds Fielding in a hospital, where she agrees to testify against McComb. Whilst trying to find Fielding’s DNA from a blood sample in the lab, Walker finds a sample of Melissa’s blood and it indicates she is pregnant. Walker realizes her death occurred later that night, and he decides to stop it. After going back to Fielding’s room, he discovers that she has been murdered. He goes to the mall where he and Melissa met that night. Eventually Max finds her and manages to convince her he is from the future.
That evening, McComb’s thugs break into Walker’s home, just like before, only this time the older Walker is waiting for them. Without the younger Walker knowing, he is helped by his older self in eventually defeating the thugs, though the younger Walker is wounded. McComb then takes Melissa hostage. When the older Walker finds the older McComb is holding Melissa, McComb sets a time bomb. He then shoots Melissa, just before the young McComb appears, having been tricked by a fake message from Walker. According to the story, two versions of the same matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time (compare to the Blinovitch Limitation Effect). Walker grabs the young McComb and pushes him into the older one, causing them to become a writhing, melting mass of blood and flesh.
Walker carries Melissa out of the house just before the bomb explodes. Walker returns to 2004, and the timeline has been corrected, the TEC still exists, Fielding is alive, Matuzak and Walker are friends again, and McComb vanished ten years earlier. Walker returns home, and is happily shocked to find Melissa alive and their 9-year-old son waiting to greet him.