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Review Welcome to Sudden Death: Die Hard at a basketball game!

genre: die hard clones, action, thriller, comedy

Apparently Welcome to Sudden Death is supposed to be a sequel to Sudden Death (the one with Jean-Claude Van Damme). And to be honest that is a bit weird and stupid. Since apart from the setup and similar premise it's very different. There also is no connection to the original. At least not that I could discover.

So yes instead of the film taking place at a ice hockey stadium this one takes place during a basketball game. I am not a basketball fan but I am pretty sure Sudden Death is a ice hockey term and doesn't apply to basketball. Anyways it doesn't really matter as like I stated the setup is the same as the original. Premise wise this sequel does things well. The villains are completely ruthless and our hero played by Michael Jai White is very capable. Like the original he takes his kids to the game in order to reconnect and gets confronted with the fact that a bunch of thugs have taken control of the entire stadium. Naturally he does everything in his power to stop them. Sounds exciting right? It could have been. But in their infinite wisdom the people involved thought it was wise to turn this film into a comedy. To make it worse, a buddy comedy. And who is this buddy? Stand up comedian Gary Owen. Don't get me wrong. I like Gary Owen. He is very funny. In this film though he simply doesn't fit. It also doesn't help that he and Michael Jai White have no chemistry at all. White also makes faces like he knows he is in a bad film and doesn't take things serious at all. Normally that could enhance the viewing experience. In this case though it only detracts from the fun. 

The comedy could have worked if used as comedic relief after super tense and thrilling scenes. Unfortunately there aren't any thrilling scenes. Not once does it feel that people or the main characters are in any real danger. So what is left? The action. As expected White will mostly punch and kick and if you are familiar with him you know he can do that well. Thing is that most of the thugs can't. Meaning you will see White doing the punching and kicking and the bad guys mostly dropping after a few hits. Maybe in a children's movie this would be fun. But in a time where most films take action scenes seriously this simply doesn't work. 

Overall this supposed sequel fails on many fronts. Even viewed as a children's movie it's far too tame. Do yourself a favour, rent or buy the original Sudden Death and watch that one instead. Even on multiple views it will be superior to this rubbish. 

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