Tough guy Thomas Beckett is a US Marine working in the Panamanian jungle. His job is to seek out rebels and remove them using his sniper skills. Beckett is notorious for losing his partners... See full summary »
Some terrorists kidnap the Vice President of the United States and threaten to blow up the entire stadium during the final game of the NHL Stanley Cup. There is only one way and one man to stop them... Written by
A fairly decent thriller that doesn't try to get cute.
I may be one of those movie buffs who's at least willing to confess that they're not a huge admirer or fan of a certain actor or director. Jean-Claude Van Damme would be near the top of my list of actors that I only admire although I've seen a few films where he has his name is on the poster.
"Sudden Death" is the second film that Van Damme has starred in with photographer/director Peter Hyams ("End of Days", "Timecop") is at the helm.
This film was based on an actual story by Karen Baldwin and is adapted into the story by Gene Quintano.
The movie takes place at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena in Pittsburgh where the Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penquins are about to take the ice for the last game of the Stanley Cup finals. Van Damme's character, Darren McCord, takes his son and daughter to the game. As usual, the arena is packed with fans and the Vice President of the U.S. has come to see the game as well. Unfortunately, Joshua Foss (Powers Boothe), a demented terrorist and a small band of terrorists take control of the Owner's box where the V.P. and several people. Foss demands that he wants a billion dollars and how he wants to use it puzzles me. However, at the end of each period, if his demand isn't met, Foss shoots someone and if the deal isn't done at the end of the game. The arena is blown sky high with several explosives that are set all over the arena.
Boothe is good here and he makes the threat very real, which is key to making any thriller. He also shows some wit and in one particular scene, the Vice President curiously asks Foss "What kind of lunatic are you?" Foss responds - "The best kind."
What draws McCord into the situation is when his daughter is taken up to the Owner's box. From there on, the movie manages to make the excitement to be interesting. One example would be the fight scenes that McCord has with a couple of thugs in the kitchen at two seperate times. Just about every prop is used from the meat slicer to the bone, which goes through one of the neck of a terrorist. Fun and yucky isn't it?
The last half of the film is just about entertaining as the first half is. I'm undecided if "Sudden Death" would make the best thriller that involves a sports event and terrorists since John Frankenheimer's "Black Sunday". Van Damme and Boothe are both good here.
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