Sudden Death is a classic action movie and one of my personal favourites. Great action, top notch direction, a great villain and an awesome score.
Plot: A disgraced former fireman (JCVD) takes on a group of terrorists holding the Vice President and others hostage during the seventh game of the NHL Stanley Cup finals.
Review: Sudden Death, to this day remains one of my all time favourite action movies. Directed by Peter Hyams (Time Cop), the pacing, tension and action scenes are all expertly crafted. It slowly builds in the first 20 minutes and gets almost unbearably tense in places. This is mostly due to a brilliant villain.
Powers Boothe is just such a totally malevolent bastard; he’s actually up there with Hans Gruber in terms of great action movie villains. He takes pleasure in hurting/killing people and he’s a totally “boo hiss” style villain.
JCVD gives a great performance as the tortured hero needing redemption: Darren McCord. I’ve always said that he doesn’t get enough respect as an actor but of all the main action stars he’s one of the best; he’s good at shouting.
The action intertwined with the Stanley Cup Hockey Game adds to the excitement of the movie and there’s a genuine race against time feel to it.
Interesting tidbit: The film’s story was written by Karen Elise Baldwin, the wife of then-Penguins owner Howard Baldwin. Nice way for some publicity kids, kudos!
Even the kids aren’t annoying in it, which is rare because kids are always annoying. Well, they are maybe a little annoying, but not too bad.
The legendary John Debney does a fantastic job with the score; the music pounds away in the background, really building up the suspense. In The final 20 minutes of the movie the music is bombastic and exciting as hell.
I remember seeing Sudden Death in the cinema 3 or 4 times with my Dad and we still love watching it regularly on DVD.
Flaws? I guess there is the odd bit of ropey blue screen toward the end, but who cares? It doesn’t detract from the action for me.
Overall, Sudden Death is a classic action movie and one of my personal favourites. Great action, top notch direction, a great villain and an awesome score.