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Timecop 2: The Berlin Decision

Reviewed By David Cornelius
Posted 02/15/07 00:30:13

"Timecop. Part TWO. Deal with it."
2 stars (Pretty Crappy)

We now live in a world where there exists a sequel to “Timecop.”

I’m not saying this is a bad thing, nor am I calling it a good thing. It is merely a weird thing. After all, of all the Van Damme movies out there, “Timecop” was the Van Dammiest. It was a Bad Movie of incredibly dopey proportions, a stupid, silly mess of science fiction that’s so gleefully moronic that I tend to smile just hearing the title. “Timecop.” Hee hee!!

Anyway, a sequel’s finally made its way out of Universal’s direct-to-video sequel department - from the same director that gave us “Slap Shot 2,” no less. “Timecop: The Berlin Decision” feels like the studio’s prepping a whole series of future “Timecop” flicks to arrive on video shelves. Whether or not we get more “Timecops” in the future (no pun intended), “The Berlin Decision” is a worthy successor to the original, in that it’s just as brainless.

A recap on the whole dumbass premise of the “Timecop” line. The first film took place in 2004 (!), where time travel is possible, and law enforcement is now responsible for sending “timecops” back in time to catch those who have traveled back in hopes of altering the future in their favor. Attempting to analyze any of the long line of flaws in such a premise will give you a migraine, so just know that these films forgo the deep scientific thought found in the smartest time travel films. These are instead cheap means to show action stars kicking people in a variety of time settings.

“The Berlin Decision” jumps ahead to 2025, for no real reason, although it does keep with the non-logic of the first film. Since 2004, it turns out, so many folks became worried that we’d never actually know if anyone changed the past that a super-secret “Society For Historical Authenticity,” whose job it is to live in the past and, um, keep an eye on things, I guess.

Anyway, a few Society members have gone all renegade, led by Miller (Thomas Ian Griffith), a guy who thinks time travel should be used to fix the past - you know, kill Hitler, prevent Lorenzo Lamas from getting his first acting job, that sort of thing. Despite meaning well, this sort of thing isn’t allowed, as there’s no telling what a Lamas-less future may hold. (More work for Grieco!) And now Miller’s on the loose, having escaped from the World Penitentiary For the Criminally Insane (convenient how there’s just the one). He’s gone jumping through time, killing off ancestors to timecops to create some kind of time anarchy, or something. Again, thinking about the logic of this story is not recommended.

Replacing Van Damme in the title role is Jason Scott Lee, who plays Ryan Chan, the force’s best timecop. He’s sent to track Miller down, trying to play catch-up to a skipping-through-time Miller who’s busy trying to kill Chan’s grandparents. Apparently Chan’s never seen “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” or surely he would’ve known that all he had to do was jump back five minutes before Miller arrived in, say, 1870. He also could have planted a garbage can to fall on Miller’s head.

And that’s the big problem here. As with the first “Timecop,” “The Berlin Decision” (the title refers to an opening scene in which Chan stops Miller from offing Hitler) thinks it’s smart, suggesting arguments on the pros and cons of time travel, offering a possibility of what effects time travel could have on the universe. But both movies get it all wrong; they only put enough thought into it to make it look like they put any thought into it. There’s one scene where Chan keeps returning to 2025, only every time it’s different, due to Miller’s time tampering. I know screenwriter Gary Scott Thompson meant well, but the presentation is so sloppy that the attempts as serious science fiction come off laughable.

No problem, ’cause the action rocks, right? Nope. Although Lee’s a serviceable action star, and some fight scenes feature a few decent moves, there’s just not much here that really works. Granted, it’s better than Van Damme’s preening silliness, but it’s still second-rate stunt work in a third-rate movie. Bad Movie fans who chuckled at the original “Timecop” will chuckle here as well, but those looking for quality sci-fi or workable action should look elsewhere.

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