Timecop 2: The Berlin Decision (Universal) (2003)

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Sell-Through Release Status Unknown
Available for Rent

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action None
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 77:46
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Steve Boyum
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Jason Scott Lee
John Beck
Jeff Wolfe
Josh Hammond
Kenneth Choi
Case ?
RPI Rental Music Andy Gray


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
French
German
Czech
Dutch
Greek
Hungarian
Polish
English Titling
French Titling
German Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

"Our past has been locked in time, arbitrated by time, defined by time. If we change that, what have we got left?"

    Based on the comic book by Mike Richardson and Mark Verheiden and some nine years after the original Timecop (review) starring Jean Claude Van Damme was released, Director Steve Boyum decided it was time for a follow-up. Except for the TEC (Time Enforcement Commission) and the magic chair which pushes the agent into another time zone, there are unfortunately no real similarities to link the two movies together. If you are hoping for a link, then this will be your first letdown. The other disappointment was the rather limited fight scenes. I was definitely expecting more, and the first movie was much better in this regard. Otherwise, it was entertaining and quite enjoyable, but you will need to ignore a few plot holes to allow the bouncing around in time to seem more natural and workable for the story (just like the first movie).

    Time travel is easy when you think about it. It is something you have done every day of your life, only in the one direction. What if you could go backwards and forwards in time almost at your leisure, and as a job, you even got paid for it? Ever since movies, or even written literature has been around, we have been beaten into submission to think that altering the past is wrong. To my knowledge it's not something we can do as yet, but if we could or when we can, should we go about making errors in our past right? In this particular movie, this is something that we are asked to answer. On first thoughts what is quite a simple question becomes a much larger technical issue when by the mere act of adjusting a moment in the past you could inadvertently be destroying your current self. Hence, would you take on a mission where you are possibly committing suicide?

    As the movie's title Timecop 2 The Berlin Decision suggests, we are at some stage going to head back to Berlin during World War II and that is just where we go to confront our first question. Ryan Chan (Jason Scott Lee) is an officer for the Time Enforcement Commission (TEC) and it is his job, along with his fellow officers, to ensure people don't head back in time to alter the past, whether this be to kill a ruthless dictator, or to jump back a few days knowing last night's winning Lotto numbers..

    The TEC has become so powerful and important that the world's leaders want, or should I say need, to ensure the verification and past history for the officers who served in the TEC. To provide you with a rough timeline, the events in this movie are set over 20 years on from the first movie in the year 2025, and over these 30 years the concern has been that the TEC police could be slightly altering past events to their own gain. A covert organisation called the "Society for Historical Authenticity" has been created with a mandate to verify and record history so that if an alteration takes place, the SAC would know about it - right?. Or would the record that they made just vanish? Ahh, I'm looking too deeply at the plot again! Anyway, one agent who works for the SAC, Miller Branson (Thomas Ian Griffith) decides on behalf of all future generations that past wrongs in history must be made right. And without giving too much away since the title already has given you a sweetener, this past wrong takes place in Berlin. Branson is imprisoned, and in the future (or is that the past), escapes from jail and starts to kill the time cops at some stage in their lineage, thereby allowing him an almost unobstructed potential to alter history yet again. Chan will need to keep track of the multiple time jumps and distortions of future time if he is to have any hope of catching Branson. How many times can you get it wrong before you are eradicated?

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer of this movie is superb, and almost reference quality.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is very clear and sharp with an immense amount of detail. Shadow detail is also marvellous and the few areas where the scenes are dark appear totally intentional rather than being a transfer issue. On the whole there is an incredible amount of detail in every scene. There is no low level noise.

    The colours are just as lush as the rest of the transfer with a good level of contrast and bold colours when and where required with no bleeding. There are a few sections which contain a strong green tint but these always occur for the same scenario so I assume they are intentional and are not a transfer issue.

    There were no MPEG artefacts and aliasing is also nonexistent. Film artefacts were not visible.

    There are subtitle options for English for the Hearing Impaired, French, German, Czech, Dutch, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, English Titling, French Titling and German Titling.

    This is a single sided disc and therefore is not affected by any layer changes.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Like the video transfer, this disc contains an engaging soundtrack.

    There are three audio tracks on this DVD which are all Dolby Digital 5.1:  English, French and German.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times. Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer, and was completely spot on.

    This is a great soundtrack and far better than some of the other rental offerings of late. The musical score by Andy Gray was well mixed and a fitting choice for this style of movie with both dynamics and fidelity that are wide and expansive. The surrounds are aggressive during the time travel scenes such as the one found at 33:30 or 41:29 where sound is whirling all around you. At other times, the rears are used for ambience, music and additional special effects with precise directional sound placement.

    The subwoofer was quite active during the time travel phases as well and provides a nice bottom end to all sections of the film as required.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     There are no extras on this rental disc.

Menu

    The menu design is themed around the movie and a static montage has been specially designed as the background. It is 16x9 enhanced with no audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     We miss out on a lot of extras and I can only hope that when this disc is released to sell-through eventually in Region 4 that it will include ALL of the Region 1 content, although the idea of forcing viewers to watch trailers of other titles before the movie starts is not acceptable. Luckily, local viewers who hire this movie will not have to worry about that particular problem.

Summary

    Whilst this is not one of the greatest time-travel movies ever made, it is still enjoyable. Don't be put off this movie if you happened to sit through the first because there are very few similarities between the two. Still worth hiring on a rainy day.

    The video quality is of a high standard.

    The audio quality is great as well.

    The extras were sent back in time and never made it to this release.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Aconda 9381ZW. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersWhatmough Classic Series C31 (Mains); C06 (Centre); M10 (Rears); Magnat Vector Needle Sub25A Active SubWoofer

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Comments (Add)
Any word on the sellthru status of this one? - Christopher