Sudden-death is yet another van Damme film, but this one comes towards the end of his peak. I almost wonder if the idea was for Van Damme to just come in and see this project, because it wasn’t written for him and it shows.
Sudden Death was actually originally supposed to be diehard three, but then diehard three was made from a lethal weapon script, this one was left as a kind of adrift. If you watch the movie with this in mind, you can actually see a lot of the diehard elements in here and it’s one of the reasons it suits Van Damme so poorly. I remember seeing this in the theater and not knowing about the diehard connection, and wondering why isn’t he doing my martial arts? Van Damme’s an action hero sure, but what he really is, is a kung fu star and that’s what I go to see. The lack of hand-to-hand fighting and the lack of really spectacular splits and high kicks is certainly a drawback on this film and as I said before, it just doesn’t suit him.
Yet another weakness is the villain here, Power’s Boothe really feels like he’s channeling Tommy Lee Jones. I’d much rather seen the actual Tommy Lee Jones in this role – it would’ve been perfect and a step up from Batman Forever….
IMDB’s description is brief : A disgraced former fireman takes on a group of terrorists holding the Vice President and others hostage during the seventh game of the NHL Stanley Cup finals.
It’s not a bad film. It’s got a good idea and some fun set pieces but suffers from just the wrong creative team behind and in front of the camera. It’s still good for a watch if you’re in the mood for fast-paced action film but know what you going into. Even though it was meant to be its not a diehard film it really isn’t, though it’s quite fun to watch it through those eyes. Give it a go on Netflix, I wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase it.