A former fireman discovers a dangerous terrorist plot at a Stanley Cup playoff game, and must rescue his own children who are in the audience. — Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure — Rating: R — Release Date: 2-SEP-2003 — Med... more »ia Type: DVD« less
Brad R. from REDWOOD CITY, CA Reviewed on 3/31/2008...
Just got this in the mail yesterday, the fight scene between Van Damme and the Penguins mascot is classic. Switching places with the goalie was clever, definitely a neat movie to watch, great mix of hockey, firefighting and fighting terrorists! kind of like the "Die Hard" movies . . .
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
The best Van Damme movie so far
retrowens | Alabama, USA | 06/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've seen just about all of Van Damme's movies and I have to say that I think "Sudden Death" is the best one so far. It's not your typical Van Damme movie when you compare it to most of his others. Most of his movies are mainly just fights throughout most of the film, which is always awesome. But I think it's even better when a fighting movie such as "Sudden Death" has more of a plot to it. Someone kidnaps his daughter and is holding her and the Vice President captive. The man holding them hostage wants a lot of money or he will blow up the whole hockey arena. Van Damme must find a way to get his daughter back while saving everybody else in the arena. "Sudden Death" is what all the other Van Damme movies isn't. It has a major storyline to it, great special effects, and even a few funny parts such as when Van Damme has to be a real goalie in the game to keep the badmen from finding him. If you're a Van Damme fan or if you like great action movies, "Sudden Death" is definitely for you."
Let's play hockey!
Dumb Blonde Reviewing | In my bed | 08/07/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I've never been a big fan of Jean-Claude Van Damme, and as of last night, had never watched a film of his before. Although I did feel like watching Street Fighter a few years back, but I was really into Kylie Minogue at the time. And I was young. That's an excuse right?
I was ended up pleasantly surprised by his acting - for some reason, I'd got it into my head that he's not that good an actor. OK, he was alright, but that doesn't mean I'm going to go rushing out to buy all his films.
There's nothing new about this film, but it'll grab your attention the whole time it's on the screen. It's a clone of many other movies, and and it itself, has probably been cloned over the years. What's terrific is the build up to the finale. It's one of those movies, where just when you think surely it's finished now, it brings out another twist, or another explosion, and you're swept along.
There's a few silly moments included in the film - Van Damme fighting a woman in a penguin suit for example, it's so funny to see and must have been embarrassing to film! :) But it ended up with the woman in the penguin suit someone that could be easily killed off and no one worries about her.
Three quarters of the way through the movie Van Damme decides to take a quick break from all the hard work - and play some hockey! At first I totally did not realise it was Van Damme, for some reason, I thought it was one of the bad guys. It wasn't until the over done "I love you" moment, that I realised who it was.
Unfortunately, Van Damme is far overshadowed by bigger, better action heroes, despite his best attempts at an impression of Bruce Willis throughout. Arnie & Sly obviously have the bigger muscles, and dare I say it, Mr Seagull has the overall size. Who would win in a punch up?
What I was most looking forward to about this was seeing little Ross Malinger again, who I best knew from Sleepless In Seattle. He doesn't play a different character, or look any older (who else wanted him to stand up & shout out "I preferred my daddy in Sleepless In Seattle!")
Overall, it's a pretty good action movie, doesn't test the braincells too much, and is pretty good fun."
[4.5] a creative and exciting, highly underrated van damme f
dominion_ruler | Carolina, USA | 08/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am not sure why I hear a lot of bad comments about this Van Damme film. Sudden Death is one of many "Die Hard" remakes, but this is the most exciting one I have seen, all taking place in the Pittsburgh hockey arena during game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. The action and suspense are teriffic, and Van Damme does a fine all-around performance (for Van Damme). The movie is quickly paced and something is always happening. Though acting and visual effects may be poor at times, this is not a film to be watching for a wonderful hollywood drama. This is pure Van Damme excitment for some no-brain kick-butt action. I give 4.5 stars, not because this is one of the best movies ever made, but it is one of the most exciting Van Damme movies that is must see fun.
Van Damme is "Darren", a sort-of fire rescue man who brings his daughter and son to the hockey game. Before the game begins, preparations are already unfolding for a new terror plot. The Vice President is on his way to the game to view the action live, and the terrorists are ready to take action once he takes his position in the owner's vip room. Naturally, the man in charge (Joshua Foss, played by Powers Boothe) wants money, and if he doesn't get it, he kills one hostage in the room after each period of the game expires. If the money is not in his account, the entire arena is rigged to blow at the conclusion of the game.
Enter Van Damme, who plays hero, but does an exciting job of it. He gets in plenty of fights throughout the interior of the arena and on the rooftop as well. My favorite is with one of the terrorist women, who is disguised in the Penguin's mascot outfit. Its kinda silly that he is fighting a mascot, but the kitchen they fight in gets torn up real good. There is also a pretty good fight in the weight room later on.
One of the most exciting things about the film is that it is all taking place during a hockey game. The game itself is fun to watch, as we get dozens of clips throughout the movie. At one point, in an attempt to avoid some of the terrorists, Van Damme enters the game as the Penguin's goalee, though no one realizes it. He is forced to play a few minutes of the game, and it was pretty fun to see.
Again, 4.5 for a great Van Damme film. Do check this one out, as it is a roller coaster that never stops. Though the ending is predicatble, its fun to see how we get there."
The kids were great...
g_sark | AZ, United States | 07/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
I got this movie because I was a Powers Boothe fan, and came to like the film for itself. It's gotten a lot of poor reviews, but I disagree and I think the film has a lot of value mainly because of the chemistry between the actors. My favorite parts of the film are those with interaction between Emily and Joshua Foss (Powers Boothe's character, never mentioned by name except in ending credits.) The duel of wits between these two is priceless and this is the best character (Emily) Powers Boothe ever plays against in my opinion.
I believe it bears much more resemblance to the two `Under Siege' films than `Die Hard' as its critics claim. The children make this film so unique, they are a big part of why the characters are where they are, when they are; and why the plot unfolds the way it does. There is violence, and probably young children shouldn't watch it, but older mature teens might like it because of Emily and Tyler. This film deals, at least on a surface level, with many issues such as government ineptitude, job-related disability, divorce/marriage/child custody, and more.
Powers Boothe, Dorian Harewood, and Colm Meaney are terrific villains. Powers Boothe especially plays a great sociopath, with the low baseline mood, superficial charm and emotional distance---although more insight than most. Whittni Wright plays Emily McCord, with nothing listed on IMDB for her after this film---a pity really I would love to see more of her. Ross Malinger plays Tyler McCord and he was terrific, I'm happy to see he's moved on to good things since.
The film was scored by John Debney, and it's his worse piece of work; subdued especially for an action film, unoriginal, not outstanding in any way although believe me I've sat through far worse. There is an official soundtrack release but good luck finding a decent-priced copy. Debney went on to do a wonderful job on `Passion of the Christ', whodathunkit and he got a well-deserved Oscar nomination for it.
My gripes: This is the tenth anniversary can we PLEASE have a widescreen release I think we've waited long enough, and a Collector's Edition with a Powers Boothe commentary would be nice but I won't hold my breath...Not a lot of extras on the DVD, but a few good behind-the-scenes items... the idea that NOONE needed to go inside or outside the stadium during the game, or that noone would have a cellphone or that there would be a media blackout for something like this REALLY stretches credulity.
It is worth a $10.00 price just to have a good piece of cinema history. I would like to see a prequel or a sequel, say, with Emily and Joshua Foss meeting up someday but now I guess thanks to `Deadwood' Powers Boothe is too famous to do a sequel (and Foss seemed QUITE dead at the film's end, but this is Hollywood after all).
Finally: Recently an audio book of `Sudden Death' was released on audiotape narrated by Powers Boothe, it is terrific and worth the price if you can find it. If you disliked the movie you might like this audiobook, if you liked the movie you'll LOVE this audiobook."
Greekfreak | Pusan Korea (South) | 04/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I heard that Peter Hyams had signed on to direct his second Van Damme film (the first being "Timecop"), I breathed a sigh of relief. It actually couldn't be that bad. Truthfully, I came out of the theatres pleasantly surprised.The real star of this movie is the action, in which Van Damme stays away from his signature spinning kicks, and adopts Bruce Willis's 'John McClane' as his persona. After "Die Hard", no one can claim to be original, so Hyams doesn't bother trying. Instead, he gives us great character actors (Powers Boothe, one of the best Van Damme villains yet), a fast-paced actioner, a bit of humour, and a totally prepostorous (at that time, anyway) Stanley Cup matchup between Pittsburgh (minus Mario) and Chicago.One of the best of the Van Damme fare on the market."