Film Scouts Reviews

"Sudden Death"

by Eleanor Ringel

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In this dumb-and-dumber knock-off of "Die Hard" (and that's meant as a compliment), Jean-Claude Van Damme is the one-man-cavalry who must save a sports arena full of hockey fans - including his two kids - from a madman (Powers Boothe). Boothe has taken the Vice President of the United States hostage in the VIP box and wired the place to blow up if he doesn't get a zillion-billion dollars. Director Peter Hyams wisely lets Boothe do the acting and Van Damme do the action. Meaning, while the star battles his way from the kitchen to the team exercise room to the coliseum's dome, Boothe gets to drop withering bon mots (to the hockey team owner who calls him a lunatic: "Me? I'm not the one paying some Neanderthal $40 million to slide across a slab of ice."). The movie is state-of-the-art, over-the-top, non-stop Hollywood hokum. And that's meant as a compliment, too.

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