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Timebomb (Arrow Recommends)

Timebomb (Arrow Recommends)
07.08.2017by: The Arrow
7 10


"Arrow Recommends is a column that has my sorry ass advise older movies to your royal asses. I will be flexible in terms of genres i.e. I will cover whatever the bleep I want. For now, it will be the way to keep my voice on the site."

PLOT: “Everyday man” Eddie Kaye (Biehn) fixes clocks for a living. That’s until somebody out there tries to fix him. As he’s being pursued by heavily armed government types left, right and center, he slowly discovers that he’s not who he thought he was. In reality, he’s the ultimate ass-kicker!

"Somebody is trying to make me think that I don't know who I am!" - Eddie Kaye

LOWDOWN: I had totally forgotten that I had addressed AVI NESHER’S TIMEBOMB on the site before in 2004. It was interesting to read my simpleton thoughts from back then and I was somewhat surprised that they pretty much gelled with how I felt about the flick today after this re-visit. Inspired by his own experiences in the Israeli military in the 70's where brain washing was all the wave, Nesher’s TIMEBOMB deserved a much better fate than it got then and warrants to be recognized today (thankfully a Blu-Ray of it finally comes out this August). It’s definitely worth a tap!

What made Timebomb stand out for me, was not so much its storyline (think Bourne Identity with a Sci-Fi twist), which was fairly pedestrian at this point when it comes to the “amnesic assassin” subgenre but more in the way as to how it went about things. Nesher’s “in your face” approach to the material reminded me of a less refined Paul Verhoeven. The action scenes were gritty, genuine (it showed that Nesher knew his shit) and energetic.

The shoot-outs (adored the use of the silencers on the automatic weapons) were mucho violent (with all kinds of innocent bystanders getting it) while the sex/death connection was gunned out in a brash and unrepentant manner. In this now “softy” society, it was refreshing to see a movie that simply didn’t give a f*ck. THANK YOU! I needed that.  Word has it that they initially wanted Jean Claude Van Damme or Chuck Norris to play the lead, and although I love both those dudes, I’m glad that Michael Biehn got the gig. 

Biehn is usually affable as a good guy (like in The Terminator) but he always whoops harder as a bad guy (Tombstone, The Abyss) and here, well he played a good guy with bad guy tendencies. All that to stab, when it came down to being intense, brutal or a bit crazy, Biehn own that scenery like the champ that he is. By the time he came full circle in the last act of the film, pimping them that black t-shirt and eventually a leather jacket, I was thinking “f*ck yeah” when he cracked them heads. NOTE: You gotta love how in the 90's, one way to communicate how badass a character was becoming was his clothes gradually changing. And it always ends with a leather jacket :)

The rest of the cast was effective as well, with the lovely Patsy Kensit, although too young, being credible as a shrink while oozing up the screen (them lips, not sure what it is about them, but oh so kissable). Tracy Scoggins (who went on to become a Soap star in Dynasty ) owned it too! She chewed the scenery fervently as the bad girl with cleavage to spare. On his end, Richard Jordan made for a solid heavy (camera loves that dude) while even Mr. Tae Bo himself Billy Blanks showed up for a couple of action scenes. Add to all that jive some stylish shots by Mr. Nesher, random trippy visuals, lots of kabooms for my bucks and one hell of a steamy sex scene between Biehn and Kensit and you get a lean, mean exploitation machine.

On the flipside; the film was maybe edited a little too tightly for its own good. Sure that meant the pace was BAM BAM BAM, but it also resulted in some scenes being cut too short. There was also some clumsy exposition here and there but it didn’t bother me too much. Finally the score was dated as ass (I can’t believe I dug it in 2004) and dumb moves to serve the plot were in the house. With shite like our lead gal constantly alerting the bad guys of their location via using an ATM or a credit card or a top secret 70’s brain washing lab being intact and still functional for some f*cking reason (you’d think they’d have torn down that place). NOTE: Look out for that rubber bat on a string to provide a boo scare. The f*ck was that all about? 

On the whole though, TIMEBOMB was an excessive sci-fi/action wam-bam with Biehn rocking it in the lead. Hard to go wrong with that! You dig movies like Total Recall and The Long Kiss Goodnight? Yes? Then put your dukes up!  This one's worth squaring off against. 

Extra Tidbit: Michael Biehn was let down by the end product. He said in an interview; "That movie didnít turn out as well Iíd hoped, but I had a lot of fun making the movie. But what ended up being the movie itself was not, was farÖ I thought it was going to be a much better movie."

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