It's a good thing the latest Van Damme actioner is based on a comic book, for if you give its sci-fi time-travel plot more than 10 seconds worth of thought, it disintegrates into a mish-mash of time-space continuum baloney. But hey, this is meant to be nonsense and despite its mind-boggling pretensions, it still delivers pure sub-cranial entertainment.
In 2004, scowling, haunted law enforcement officer Van Damme patrols the ultra hi-tech time paths to make sure no scheming so and so zips back down the years to adjustment the present, a task he achieves mainly by kicking them very hard in the head. Now, though, he has to reckon with megalomaniac, slightly-psychotic senator Ron Silver tapping history for enough wealth to fund his presidental campaign and paying negligable heed to the value of human life and those don't-fiddle-with-the-past rules. Add in a time-twisting sub-plot involving Van Damme's dead-wife (Sara) and proof positive that making contact with yourself in the past has some unpleasant side-effects and you've got a rollicking, kickboxing variation on Groundhog Day.
Van Damme once again bends and twists his muscular frame to superhuman excess, but his Belgian tonsils have all the flexibility of the Himalayas when it comes to splurting out his one-liners. While his characterisation - a heroic lump of granite - fits this comic absurdity perfectly as he kicks, punches, lumpenly wisecracks, leaps from exploding buildings, always gets his man and pops through time with an impressive custard-like plop. Enough, indeed, to make this brainless romp a real blast.