Sudden Death

on December 22, 1995 by Dwayne E. Leslie
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   "Die Hard" on ice, "Sudden Death" is an exciting if often predictable reteaming of "Timecop" star Jean-Claude Van Damme and director Peter Hyams. Here, the setting is the Stanley Cup final; terrorists have taken hostages to force a big-bucks payout. One hostage is the U.S. vice president; another is the young daughter ("I'll Do Anything's" Whittni Wright) of a lone fire marshal (Van Damme), who must race against time to save his daughter, the VP and 17,000 hockey fans. The driving factors are the game clock hostages are killed at each period's end and explosives set throughout the complex that the marshal must defuse, with narrow escapes aplenty. That innocent victims will die and the hero will make it through to a final confrontation here with the terrorist leader (Powers Boothe) are typical for the genre, but the marshal's specific obstacles and Van Damme's energetic acrobatics keep audiences interested.    Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Powers Boothe. Directed by Peter Hyams. Written by Gene Quintano. Produced by Moshe Diamant and Howard Bald-win. A Universal release. Action. Rated R for a substantial amount of strong violence, and for language. Running time: 110 min.
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