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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Up there with the best van Damme movies
One of my personal favourites, Jean-Claude plays a fire safety officer that resorts to extreme measures when his daughter (along with the vice president or some other such political type) is held hostage by terrorists during an ice hockey match. Powers Boothe leads the terrorists in fine ruthless style while van Damme runs around the stadium (with the hockey-watching...
Published on 9 May 2003 by Pete Murphy

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DIE HARD ON ICE?
Sudden Death delivers everything you would exspect from a Van Damme film. impressive score and excellent direction from Peter Hyams makes this one of the most underrated action films of 1995.
Published on 4 Jan. 2001


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Up there with the best van Damme movies, 9 May 2003
This review is from: Sudden Death [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
One of my personal favourites, Jean-Claude plays a fire safety officer that resorts to extreme measures when his daughter (along with the vice president or some other such political type) is held hostage by terrorists during an ice hockey match. Powers Boothe leads the terrorists in fine ruthless style while van Damme runs around the stadium (with the hockey-watching crowd blissfully unaware they're sitting on a ticking bomb) trying his hardest to take out bad guys and defuse bombs and, hopefully, rescue his daughter before time runs out and the whole stadium goes up in smoke.
Both van Damme and Powers Boothe put on a good show for the punters - Boothe is about as evil and merciless as they come, unafraid to pop a cap in one of his hostages every time something doesn't go his way; and van Damme is... well, he's van Damme. He may not be the worlds greatest actor, but he knows a thing or two about kicking bad guys butts and he gives it his all in this movie. It's all done on a grand scale by Peter Hyams, the director responsible for The Relic, Arnie's End Of Days (both underrated films) and van Dammes Timecop, and he seems to steer things in a more realistic direction - you find yourself believing that maybe a guy like van Damme's capable of taking care of a situation like this, and you get behind him all the way.
It goes without saying there's some excellent fights featured in this movie, all boasting the usual hardcore violence we expect from our Belgian boy, and it all amounts to a couple of hours of decent fairly brainless fun. The plot's got a few twists and turns too, so you can't really ask for more than that.
The DVD is pretty basic, boasting just a trailer by way of extras, but the picture's pin sharp and the sound packs a punch as big as Jean-Claude's. Can't really ask for more
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Van Damme Fights A Penguin...Sort Of, 20 Oct. 2014
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sudden Death [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Sudden Death (DVD).

DVD Info.
Format: PAL
Language: English
Subtitles: Italian
Region: 2
Ratio: 16.9/2.35 : 1
Audio: 5.1 DTS
Number of discs: 1
Classification: 18
Studio: Universal Pictures UK
Running Time: 105 minutes

Cast.
Jean-Claude Van Damme as Darren Francis Thomas McCord
Powers Boothe as Joshua Foss
Raymond J. Barry as U.S. Vice President Daniel Binder
Whittni Wright as Emily McCord
Ross Malinger as Tyler McCord
Dorian Harewood as Matthew Hallmark
Kate McNeil as Kathi
Michael Gaston as Hickey
Audra Lindley as Mrs. Ferrara
Brian Delate as Blair
Faith Minton as Carla
Manny Perry as Brody
Brian Hutchison as Young Secret Service Agent

Budget: $35 million
Box office: $64,350,171

Trivia.
1)Body Count: 36.
2)Jean-Claude Van Damme doesn't fight a henchman until 37 minutes into the film.
3)Raymond J.Barry & Powers Poothe also starred together in Rapid Fire with the late Brandon Lee.

What's The Story.
Darren McCord must rescue his little girl from terrorists who have interrupted the Stanley Cup ice hockey final, The bad guys led by ex secret service agent Joshua Foss who kidnaps the Vice President of the United States & threatens to blow everybody up unless he gets a billion dollars from the treasury by the end of the game.

Therefore, Darren must not only stop the terrorists by any means necessary, but try to locate & deactivate the bombs in time before the game ends.

Timelord Thoughts.
Sudden Death is a solid action film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme who gives a strong performance here as ex fireman Darren McCord who takes his children to watch a ice hockey game as he's a caretaker there & also has something to prove as two years before he was unable to rescue a child in a fire, but unwittingly McCord becomes entwined in a terrorist & extortion plot that involves the kidnapping of the US vice president & eventually McCords daughter Emily, the terrorists led by Joshua Foss want $1 billion dollars or he'll blow up the hockey stadium & kill thousands of innocent people, so it's up to Van Damme to save the day & kick, punch or use any means necessary in a bid to rescue his daughter & stop the terrorists plan..

Powers Boothe is extremely convincing as Joshua Foss who oozes a sinister sadistic charm without going over the top who is leader of the terrorists & literally don't care who he or his men kill, whether it's women, the head cook & his wife, no one is safe, Raymond J. Barry is good in a supporting role as vice president Daniel Binder who tries to talk Foss down from blowing up the stadium.

Director Peter Hyams keeps the action & the pace moving along nicely staging some impressive action & kick ass fight scenes especially when Van Damme is seen fighting a female assassin who's wearing a Penguin mascot outfit in the stadiums kitchen is a brilliantly choreographed & is one of the movies most memorable scenes.

At times Sudden Death can be a little far fetched but overall this is a enjoyable action movie & one of Van Dammes best who was at the top of his game when he made this movie & is one of the most entertaining action films of the 90's that delivers a wide variety of over the top action & fight scenes scenes, has a great villain in Powers Boothe, contains plenty of witty one liners plus a half decent plot & were else are you going to see Van Damme fighting a Penguin mascot assassin?

Timelord Rating.
8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death by chicken leg......, 1 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Sudden Death [Blu-ray] [1995] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Darren McCord takes his two kids to a Pittsburgh Penguins National Hockey League play- off game.

Unbeknown to him, the sports arena has been taken over by terrorists, who are holding the Vice President of the United States, as well as many other high-ranking officials hostage.

Darren later becomes the only one who is aware of the situation. And, the stakes are raised when the terrorists announce that they will blow-up the building at the end of the game.

Therefore, Darren must not only subdue the terrorists, but postpone the game and send it to overtime.....

Oh yes, the film is silly, and full of gaping plot holes, but for heavens sake, it's a really fun movie with a really good performance from Van Damme (his relationship with his children is spot on), and Powers Boothe, looking like he's having the time of his life as the villain.

It's a shame though that the movie was released at the time it was. The Die Hard in a..... Sub genre had been way over done, and Van Damme was becoming less successful at the box office.

As well as being very funny in places, it's also quite sadistic in the fact that the terrorists literally don't care who they kill. Elderly women, Wives, and head cooks, no one is safe.

The films edited really well, and the action scenes look good and never get too over the top, despite the fact Van Damme has a fight with a giant penguin.

In my opinion it's his best film of the nineties and it never gets boring, thanks to Boothe and a great performance from Van Damme.

If you've never seen a Van Damme film and are not Into martial arts movies, this is for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ice ice baby., 4 Dec. 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sudden Death [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Darren McCord, a fire safety officer at a hockey stadium, takes his two kids to a major Pittsburgh Penguins game. It just so happens to be the day that extortionist/thieves kidnap the vice president and hold him hostage at the stadium, thus putting himself and his children in mortal danger.

Lets cut to the chase here, Sudden Death is a clone rip off of Die Hard, the action template movie that shines as bright as a newly formed bruise, but as copycats go {and there have been reams}, Peter Hyams' beefcake blunderbuss movie is an action junkie's delight. Jean Claude Van Damme {McCord obviously} flexes his muscles and not only beats seven bells of tar out of Powers Booth's criminal minions, he also proves to be a hero and loving father to his oblivious children. It's contrived for sure, I mean we get Jean sneaking on to the ice and taking up net minding duties, and it's certainly a script devoid of imagination. But it's got Van Damme fighting a hot kick ass babe in a penguin suit and a last fifteen minutes of high roof/dangling/swinging/exploding mayhem that does the action genre proud.

It's no Die Hard, but what genre films are? Sudden Death in spite of its contrivances, is a film that is impossible not to enjoy if you are a like minded adult. 7/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly excellent action thriller, 16 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: Sudden Death [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Despite it's cheesy appearance and B-movie cast, this is a terrifically fun action thriller. Van Damme reins in his tendency to overact compared to his normal performances and delivers a surprisingly convincing turn as an ordinary guy in a bad situation, while Powers Boothe has rarely been better as a slick and charming but devilishly villainous bad guy with a shady secret background. The action is exciting and surprisingly brutal as Boothe and his bad guys gradually infiltrate a major league ice-hockey rink and kidnap the Vice President, holding the unsuspecting stadium customers and the VP to ransom for an ungodly fee, while Van Damme just tries to kep his estranged kids safe as he tries to thwart his unwanted guests.
There are explosions and shootings aplenty, vicious hand-to-hand combat with a variety of inventive weapons, and some spectacular stunts.
Far better than you might be inclined to think it will be. My other-half, who's not much of a B-movie action fan (and only a passing Van-Damme fan), loved it. Explosive fun that's even better on a widescreen than I remember it being in the cinema.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sudden Death: Van Damme ices the bad guys, 20 Nov. 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sudden Death [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Most of this film plays out like Die Hard on ice crossed with Air Force One with hints of `Allo Allo, with Jean Claude Van Damme filling the Bruce Willis role as a rogue element running loose and trying to stop terrorists who have taken over a building and kidnapped the Vice President. In this case the building is an ice arena in the middle of a big hockey match, and Powers Booth takes on the Alan Rickman part. One character bears such an uncanny resemblance to `Allo Allo's Leclerc that, with all the French accents floating around, I thought a few reels of that great British comedy series had been spliced in.

It ticks all the right boxes, and a largely formulaic picture results, which is no bad thing. OK we know what we are getting, but it is played with a sense of fun and style that keeps it fresh and entertaining as we wind towards the inevitable conclusion. It's a decent little actioner, worth three stars, but lifted to 4 for the sight of JCVD beating a 7 foot tall apparently pregnant penguin to death in one of the more imaginative and surreal big fight sequences I have seen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best Van Damme movie ever made!!.., 19 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Sudden Death [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Jean Claude seems to have made it just right with this Epic Iceskate Rink movie that leaves you holding your breath from beginning to the very end.

Ok, so there are some of the bad Guys in the movie who were acting poorly and the storyline is stretched at times to hold the suspence for the viewers up until the point of being a bit dull.

But Jean Claude Van Damme kicks his way through the movie with well executed punchlines, excellent combat scenes and the overall plot seems to hold the viewers in its grasp from start to finish.

If this doesn't take your fancy than Watch my second favorite Van Damme movie, TIMECOP

Well done!!...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best 'Die Hard' clone, 16 Jan. 2008
By 
D. Climo - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sudden Death [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
I'll admit, Van Damme has made some crap, exceedingly crap movies before (Street Fighter The Movie. Anyone?) but this film rocks. The plot is quite basic nowadays seeing as we are used to seeing films like this, hero has bad experience at start, get's a new job only for workplace to be taken over by terrorists etc but there are some nice touches to the story like how Van Damme makes a gun out of an Aerosol spray can. The fights are great too, especially one between Van Damme and a female assasin in a kitchen even if it does look like it's come out of 'Family Guy' (you'll have to see both this and Family to get what I mean).
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4.0 out of 5 stars DIE HARD SUDDENLY., 13 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Sudden Death [Blu-ray] [1995] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I am always harping on about the mostly crap baddies we have these days in films, not in real life I might add. We have had enough of thoughs swinehunds at the BBC who are either dead or now having a one on one with Mr Big in the showers! What decent movie villains have we had recently hey? I would say Leonardo Dicaprio in Django Unchained, Jean Claude Van Damne in Expendables 2, Mel Gibson in Expendables 3 and The Dark Knight Rises villans. Apart from that where have they gone? You must remember the days of Cohagan and Rictor in Total Recall and Bob Mortimer and Boddicar from Robocop. We had bad mother f***ers coming out of our ears. Now what we get is bad imitations that are not threatening in the slightest.

What I am pleased to report is that with Sudden Death DOES have a very credible baddie in the form of Powers Boothe. Yes I know this film was made in 1995 but I had forgotten just how good it was. I had not seen it for a while but the other other night I had a JCVD double bill night with Nowhere To Run and Sudden Death. Both films are s**t hot in my book (see my other reviews). The baddie in Sudden Death is vindictive and nasty and has no issues with murdering innocent folk at the drop of hat. He has an elderly woman held at gun point and murdered and shoots her husband afterwards stating he would have been lonely without her and he will send a card. We need more baddies like this.

The fight scenes are nothing to complain about either. JCVD even users a chicken drum stick bone to stab someone to death in the neck. He scolds people with cooking fat and users kitchen untelciles as weapons. Sounds like a good cooking show to me. Mind you, anything is better than f**king food shows. I get sick and tired of the pompous toss pots and stuck up food critics that ponce about on every channel. And don't get me started on Come f**king Dine With Me. The people on that are as desperate and as shallow as the f**ks that go on every bleeding talant show we have. If I went on come dine with me I would leave stuff out for the other people to find when they snoop around. I would leave a nice big richard the third in the bog and a pair of tarmaced y-fronts on the top of the laundry basket. Have some of that you nosey b******s. What should have is a cooking show where they fight to the death with what ever they can find in the kitchen, then the winner goes off for a few Stellas and a Kebab!

Where was I? Fight scenes in Sudden Death. All great as is the action. It's not high kicking JCVD action all the time as this was one of his first stabs at a more traditional action flick without relying on martial arts alone. This film is basically a version of Die Hard which is what a lot of action films were at that time in the 90's. We had Under Seige and Passenger 57 which were both also very good. Sudden Death is about a semi retired fire fighter (JCVD) who gets hired as the fire safety officer at a ice hockey game. The stadium is then hi jacked and the vice president is held hostage until a big fat ramsom is paid. It does get very "Die Hardish" towards the end with JCVD communicating with the villan and running around the stadium disarming bombs. He even has a white t-shirt on! Sudden Death fits nicely in the 90's and it is still very enjoyable today. It's up there with Hard Target and Timecop.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of the most efficient and solid action thrillers around, 31 Jan. 2008
By 
M. JONES "mj1001" (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sudden Death [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Jean Claude Van Damme plays a fireman who's lost his nerve as well as the respect of his young son. But that's soon about to change when terrorists take over an ice hockey stadium and the Vice President's box. On hand is Van Damme who is determined to save his family and foil the terrorists' plans, which include blowing up the stadium during the match.

Van Damme is likeable as always and Powers Boothe lends some charisma as the chief villian. He's no Alan Rickman, but his presence definately aids the movie. But the aspect that really raises this effort is the action. It's virtually non-stop and nicely varied, despite being in one location. Whether he's fighting a giant penguin (it'll make sense when you see it!), swinging from the rafters or even taking part in the hockey match itself (again, it makes sense during the film), there's always the right balance between humour and tension, thanks also to some pacy editing.

There are some resemblances to Die Hard of course, but this is one of the better 'clones' out there and I constantly find myself coming back to this one!
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Sudden Death [Blu-ray] [1995] [Region Free]
Sudden Death [Blu-ray] [1995] [Region Free] by Peter Hyams (Blu-ray - 2013)
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