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Timecop: The New Western

            First and foremost, Timecop is an action film and any modern day action film owes something to the 1969 western, The Wild Bunch. This classic revolutionized the action scene and subsequent hits have habitually echoed its techniques. Just glancing at reviews from various websites, "The film's lasting influence has been seen in the imitative graphic violence of the films of Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, John Woo, and others- (Dirks par. 3). "The Wild Bunch changed the way in which action sequences are shot, and its influence can still be seen today in the work of such [big-time] directors as Walter Hill, and James Cameron- (Wolf par. 1). "He [director Sam Peckinpah] gave the cinema a way to alter time and space by artfully editing multiple camera angles and intercutting slow and normal motion."" ("The Wild - par. 1) Peckinpah, as a pioneer unconventionally made the action sequence a waltz of violence--aesthetic, harmonious. Timecop, fast forward 25 years, certainly picks up the pace. .
             Timecop centers around action film (the "action movie- developed into its own genre) star Jean-Claude Van Damme's beautifully choreographed fight segments. "Sure, there s a little acting in there too but what really counts here is, of course, the action- (Marshall 217). Highlighting his astonishing martial arts acrobatics, shots are reminiscent of Peckinpah's, with extensive match-on-action cuts and careful attention to rhythm. Pieces are shot at varying speeds with viewer-satisfying close-ups of explicit violence (in one scene in particular, Van Damme mercilessly snaps the neck of a helpless villain.) The death count similarly amasses uncountable in these stunning sequences except, contrasting The Wild Bunch, all of Van Damme's fighting is done with his bare hands. (Though, I'll never understand why he doesn't just shoot the bad guys.) Noting all this, it should now be said that there is much more than action to this film.

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