Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Timecop: The Berlin Decision (2003)

I remember the first time I heard the term cash grab.   There were a few movies that came to mind.  I’m not saying that Timecop: The Berlin Decision is a cash grab, but the evidence would lean that way.  Consider that the two movies were directed by different people and have no overlapping actors or characters.  The script also seems to have been written by someone who has a very vague concept of time travel.  The movie seems like it’s a sequel in name only.

The movie is set in the year 2025.  Ryan Chan is the main protagonist.  He’s been sent on a mission to Berlin in the 1940s because it looks like someone’s going to alter history.  It turns out that Brandon Miller is going to try to kill Hitler.  Who is Brandon Miller?  He’s actually in charge of the Society for Historical Authenticity, which is charged with making sure that timecops don’t alter history.  And here he is, trying to assassinate Hitler.

Chan manages to stop him and preserve history.  In the process, Miller’s wife is killed.  Miller is subsequently tried and sent to prison.  Thus, Miller is now the main antagonist, sworn to take revenge on Chan and the rest of the Temporal Enforcement Commission.  He eventually escapes and starts erasing timecops from history by killing ancestors.  When this happens, the cop in question disappears in a puff of smoke.

So, Chan is sent back to stop Miller.  He’s first sent to the prison, although that changes history more even if Chan doesn’t interact directly with Miller.  So, Chan is sent way back to Texas in the 19th century.  This is because Chan is the last officer left.  How does an Asian guy have relatives that far back in Texas?  That’s not really explained.

Anyway, Chan chases Miller across the generations of the Chan family tree only to meet up with Professor Chan (Ryan’s father) and a younger version of Miller.  It turns out that Miller was a student of the professor’s and the two argued about the morality of changing history.  Chan is able to convince Miller the Younger to be a better person, which causes Chan and Miller the Elder to disappear.  Back in 2025, all is right.

So, where do I begin?  It’s never explained why Chan and the others can see officers disappear, yet the entire office is changed when Chan goes and comes back.  If an officer is erased from history, how does it mean that no one was hired?  Also, why are they still erased from history in the altered timelines?

Oh, and why does Miller skip generations at a time?  If he fails to kill one of Chan’s ancestors, why not go ahead or back a few years?  Why not chose a different ancestor?  You have a lot of great-great-great-grandparents to chose from.  32, to be exact.  Miller finally tries to kill Chan as a child, but kills the father by accident.  This actually happened in the original timeline, meaning it was always destined to happen?  That attempt was the tail end of a series of failures that only happened after Miller’s wife was killed, but didn’t seem to happen in the original timeline.

If you’re confused, don’t worry.  I watched it and I’m not even sure what happened.  Like I said, I’m not even sure the writer knew what was going on.  I think the plot was just a way of setting up some fight scenes.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the movie wasn’t originally intended to be a sequel.  It may have been slightly modified to ride on the coattails of the first Timecop.  If you’re in to time-travel movies or movies that make sense, I’d tell you to skip this one.

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