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Hockey Films - Sudden Death

Sudden Death Cover

What the box says...

ďAction superstar Jean-Claude Van-Damme teams with Powers Boothe in a tension-packed , suspense thriller from the director of Running Scared, The Presidio and Timecop.

Inside the Civic Arena, 17,000 rabid hockey fans gather for the Stanley Cup final game - including the vice president of the United States. What they donít know is that someone is planning to have the building, and its inhabitants, blown to bits.

 Van Damme portrays Darren McCord, a father who brings his two children to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins versus the Chicago Blackhawks. But when his daughter is suddenly taken hostage by terrorists, their special night out turns into a deadly race against time. Her sinister captor (Boothe) is demanding delivery of a billion dollars from the US Treasury by gameís end. With thousands of lives at stake, Van Damme frantically sets a plan in motion to rescue his daughter and abort the impending explosion... before the final buzzer.Ē

View from Block 107...

Die Hard at a hockey game - thatís basically what Sudden Death is, your typical action thriller starring Van-Damme. So, if you like Van-Damme and his style of film you will be fine with this. But, what if you donít? Is there enough hockey content to keep you interested? Well, itís a tough one to answer - the actual game scenes are shown more as a background to Van-Dammeís heroics rather than part of the story - it may be enough to occupy you trying to spot NHL players you

recognise. The only one shown in great detail is Luc Robitaille - you will hear a few others mentioned that you will recognise along the way though. If thatís not enough reason to watch the film, how about a close-up look at the oldest active arena in the NHL, the Civic Arena (now known as the Mellon Arena), home of the Pittsburgh Penguins - assuming the behind the scenes stuff (locker room etc) shown is genuine!

Having said this, there are a couple of decent hockey related moments in the film - how about Van-Damme beating up the Penguins mascot, Iceburgh; or Van-Damme, disguised as the fictional Penguins netminder, Brent Tolliver, taking a swing at a Blackhawks player having just made the Ďsave of the seriesí to get himself thrown out of the game.

This is definitely a film where the hockey is the backdrop to the story rather than part of the story and as such not every hockey fan will enjoy it. However, as both a Penguins and

Sudden Death Action

action film fan I quite enjoyed it and found it a decent way to pass 1 1/2 hours.

PD - 14/1/2001

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