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Review Sudden Death (1995): Die Hard at a Ice Hockey Game!

genre: die hard clones, action, crime, thriller

Sudden Death refers to a ice hockey term where the game ends, the second one of the two teams scores. In this case it also could be interpreted literally. Welcome to Jean-Claude's Die Hard.

Van Damme is the McClane of the story named McCord (really?) and has a background and everything. His background mostly concerns his kids and what they think of him. Essentially the former fireman is heavily traumatized after a kid dies on his watch. Obviously this is something that would deeply affect him. It's not clear if he had been divorced due to this incident or long before. But if this was because of this event then his ex wife is a terrible woman. Especially since she is hellbent to give him constant grief for trying to be a good dad. It's the stepfather who is more understanding than she is. He finally is allowed to take his kids to a ice hockey game. On the day the vice president of the United States of America is visiting. And the same day a large group of terrorists are trying to take over the stadium for their purpose. Their leader is played by Powers Boothe who is having fun playing the bad ruthless bad guy. Actually all the villains in this flick are no joke. Old people. kids, no one is save. If you get in their way you are a goner. 

One of the elements that makes Sudden Death work is the fact that they take their time to set up the characters and events. But once events start happening the action is on. With here and there some short breaks that sometimes shorten the tension. Still because of the emotional component it's not that big of a flaw. The action therefore is exciting. However one thing that bothered me is that it's very obvious that a stunt double is used in the fight scenes with Van Damme. I get that when doing certain stunts. But this was just simple punching and kicking Van Damme is very capable of. It was nice to see McCord make more use of the environment. Even if at times he does seem to be an expert about almost everything. Still it's an element that makes Van Damme very likable. Especially in relation to his kids.

Sudden Death is one of the better Die Hard Clones. It takes it's time to establish the important characters and set up the mood. Perhaps a little too much but once events start happening it's exciting and entertaining. 

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