Rated: R for obscenities and a great deal of graphic violence. Reviewed by: Chris Release date: December 22, 1995 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.
Just when you thought that every possible place had been blown up by a madman demanding money, Hollywood comes up with just one more. Die Hard had its office building, Under Siege had it aircraft carrier, "Speed had its bus, and Sudden Death" has its hockey arena.
Jean-Claude Van Damme plays a Pittsburgh fire marshal working at the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals. He's taken his young son and daughter along to watch the game while de does his job. But, his job on this particular night turns into something he never bargained for.
Guests in the skybox, including the vice president, are held hostage by terrorists headed by Powers Boothe,a calm, cool killer.
He's hidden bombs in the arena that are set to go off it the government doesn't transfer millions of dollars to his foreign bank accounts. To add to the tension, he promises to kill a hostage at the end of each game period, if it's not done quickly enough.
Van Damme gets involved when his own daughter is endangered and he turns into Booth's worst nightmare.
Van Damme's acting is limited, but he does seem to get better with each film. Also, as a father in real life, he makes a believable one.
Boothe is a terrific bad guy. He never raises his voice or loses his temper, and when he kills someone with quiet determination, it's all the more scary.
Van Damme is involved in a lot of hand-to-hand fighting and his karate prowess is in top form. However, it's the stunts that make you say "wow!" After each one, you want to ask how they did it.
The plot is unbelievable, still "Sudden Death" is one terrific thriller, and after all, that's all it's trying to be.