Jean Claude Van Damme’s Sudden Death (1995) takes place at Pittsburgh, where two NHL hockey teams, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins battle it out for the Stanley Cup championship Finals. The vice president of the United States is also there to enjoy the game. However all hell breaks loose when an insane ex CIA agent named Joshua Foss (Powers Boothe) decides to take the vice president in the VIP lounge and the unsuspecting hockey fans as hostages. Having the entire arena rigged with explosives, his plan is to use the vice president to wire hundreds of millions of dollars to different off shore accounts. If a substantial amount is not in these accounts a hostage will die. Jean Claude Van Damme plays the haunted ex-fireman who is now the stadiums fire marshal Darren McCord who took his kids to the game. However during the outing his daughter is kidnapped by the terrorists and now ITS PERSONAL!!
After the successes of Timecop (1994) it is no shock that reuniting director Peter Hyams and Van Damme would yet again bring another spectacular 90’s action film. Sudden Death is Jean Claude Van Damme’s action packed and yippee ki yaying Die Hard. Just like John McClane in the first Die Hard, Darren is up against some serious odds and the only thing to arm himself with is a walkie talkie and some kick ass moves. Both characters battle their way cracking henchmen’s skulls and shooting their way to the top floor. Unlike McClane, Darren plays the over caring, sensitive father role. They both even have similar surnames; John McClane and Darren McCord.
Die Hard is easily an action film that you can re-watch consistently, watching McClane with the white vest, climbing into air vents and running round the Nakatomi Tower barefoot. Just like Die Hard Sudden Death is a easily re-watchable movie. Watching Darren karate his way to his daughter, deep fry a henchmen’s hand and run around the hockey stadium collecting C4 explosives. It just never gets boring. Darren is both a likeable and funny protagonist. Better still being young, Jean Claude Van Damme’s character is believable enough to toss bad guys into the massive scoreboard and swing from light fixtures. No action movie is ever complete without a villain that we love to hate. No one makes smoking as cool as the villain Joshua Foss; his polite mannerism, dashing smirks, jokingly toying with the terrified hostages as he kills them one by one and best of all the awesome cigarette lighter that puts all smokers to shame.