Sudden Death (1995)
Pittsburgh Penguins owner Howard Baldwin was the producer of Sudden Death, and the action is set in his hockey arena, in which the Penguins are playing the Chicago Blackhawks. Pittsburgh fire inspector Darren McCord (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is attending the game with his two children. He's quit fighting fires because of a tragedy a few years earlier involving a child he couldn't save. Also at the game is the vice-president of the United States (Raymond Barry), who is the target of a terrorist plot. The terrorist leader, an insane ex-CIA agent named Joshua Foss (Powers Boothe), has masterminded a scheme to hold the vice-president hostage in his luxury suite while demanding that payments be transferred to his account electronically at the end of each period of the game. If he doesn't get his money, he will kill one member of the vice-president's party at the end of each period, and at game's end he will order ten bombs hidden in the arena to be detonated with all 17,000 fans present. McCord discovers the plot while his daughter Emily (Whittni Wright) is kidnapped by the terrorists too. McCord must dispatch the villains and find the bombs, while saving all the hostages. Luckily, he is adept at martial arts. He fights one henchman dressed in a Penguins mascot outfit in the arena's kitchen, and another terrorist on the arena's retracting dome. At one point, McCord switches identities with a player, is sent into the game, and scores a goal. Director Peter Hyams also directed Van Damme in the blockbuster Timecop. ~ Michael Betzold, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Sudden Death
Reuniting Hyams and Van Damme, director and star of Timecop, this spectacular nail-biter exploits their combined, if limited, abilities to the full.
Offers above-average pyrotechnics, a body count that steadily mounts, and plenty of hand-to-hand combat.
Sudden Death is one of the best action thrillers of 1995. It's also the film Jean-Claude Van Damme has been building up to for 10 years.
Despite the elaborate stunts, go-go-go direction from Peter Hyams, plus butt-kicking and surprise goalie action from Van Damme, Death deserves the hockey-puck booby prize for...getting its jollies by putting kids in jeopardy.
A treat for Jean-Claude Van Damme fans, a superior action thriller loaded with jaw-dropping stunts and special effects, and strong in production values.
Sudden Death isn't about common sense. It's about the manipulation of action and special-effects sequences to create a thriller effect, and at that it's pretty good.
Good clean fun, with just the right ratio of explosions to dialogue.
Van Damme is at his butt-kicking best, with Sudden Death offering all the thrills, spills and stuff blowing up that action fans relish.
The best of the many Die Hard rip-offs made during the 1990s. Sudden Death is a thrilling rollercoaster ride of hard-edged action.
Wooden-as-ever Van Damme is no Bruce Willis, unfunny main bad guy Powers Boothe is no Alan Rickman, and uninspired director Peter Hyams is no John McTiernan.
Gets a lot of mileage out of the well-worn trapped-in-a-blank-full-of-hostages action genre.
Fun Die Hard knockoff that uses the stadium for all its worth. The mascot fight is a highlight.
A mildly satisfying high-energy romp complete with outstanding professional hockey footage and intense physical confrontations.
I'm surprised not only that there wasn't a lawsuit over the film, but also by how watchable the film is (though it truly is bad, it's fun at least).
Works as entertaining mix of good action and unintended comedy, but the viewers won't enjoy it today as much as they did in 1995.
Although this is an uninspired re-working of the Die Hard formula, it is probably O.K. as mindless holiday entertainment.
An exciting if often predictable reteaming of Timecop star Jean-Claude Van Damme and director Peter Hyams.
The movie is state-of-the-art, over-the-top, non-stop Hollywood hokum. And that's meant as a compliment, too.
Patched together from such familiar stuff that even ardent fans of the genre will find it hard to stay interested.
Hyams, who also teamed with Van Damme for Timecop, knows how to keep the action popping and there are some dramatically intense scenes. But it's far too sadistic.
Audience Reviews for Sudden Death
This is a pretty good 'Die Hard' style flick, 'Die Hard' in a ice hockey stadium haha the villian, Boothe is pretty nasty and the action is good and strong. The final scene is abit over the top but this is a good action effort.More
Really really typical 90's action flick...with on exception...
Jean Claude Van Damme fights a penguin.
I've seen just about all of Van Damme's movies and I have to say that I think "Sudden Death" is the best one so far. It's not your typical Van Damme movie when you compare it to most of his others. Most of his movies are mainly just fights throughout most of the film, which is always awesome. But I think it's even better when a fighting movie such as "Sudden Death" has more of a plot to it.
Someone kidnaps his daughter and is holding her and the Vice President captive. The man holding them hostage wants a lot of money or he will blow up the whole hockey arena. Van Damme must find a way to get his daughter back while saving everybody else in the arena.
"Sudden Death" is what all the other Van Damme movies isn't. It has a major storyline to it, great special effects, and even a few funny parts such as when Van Damme has to be a real goalie in the game to keep the badmen from finding him. If you're a Van Damme fan or if you like great action movies, "Sudden Death" is definitely for you. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2000. I've always loved Van Damme movies and have seen nearly all of his, and this is definitely one of my absolute favorites from his library.
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