“Sudden Death” (1995)

Everything Action loves Jean Claude Van Damme. We love his Brussels accent, his comedic timing, his ability to do ball breaking splits. Mostly we love his ability to make cheesily awesome action movies. One of his forgotten classics of cheddar is Sudden Death. Remember back to the early 90’s when Die Hard came out. Every action movie that came out for the next year was like “Die Hard in a (blank)” and fill in a generic location. Sudden Death was Die hard in a hockey arena.

Jean Claude is Darren Mccord. In the opening scene he is a firefighter trying to rescue a little girl from a fire. They both become trapped and the ceiling collapses. Darren tries to protect her but she must of inhaled to much French-Canadianess because, somehow, she dies. This traumatizes Darren so much that he becomes a fire inspector instead of firemen. From what I gather his job mostly him changing lightbulbs. This allows him to get tickets to game 7 of the Stanley Cup, Penguins vs. Blackhawks. God, remember when America cared about Hockey?

Anyway, he brings his over the top annoying kids to the game, but more on them later. Meanwhile the Vice-President arrives to watch the game (played by that douchebag judge in Cool Runnings). This is when Powers Boothe and his merry band of terrorists take over the VIP box and kill some people. They then reveal their insanely complicated plan. There’s some sort of secret bank account that the CIA has. Joshua Foss (Boothe) wants 1/3 of the money transferred during each period. He’ll kill a hostage if the money isn’t transferred at the designated time. The terrorists then disguise themselves as guards and one disguises herself as the Penguin mascot. Jean Claude’s kids are still being annoying while this is going on. His son sprays is daughter in the face with a squirt gun. She runs away to the bathroom and sees Icey the Penguin aka Terrorist Lady. Icey takes her up to VIP booth to hang around with Uncle Powers. Darren arrives at their seats at scolds annoying son about spraying his sister. Darren then takes the squirt gun and goes to look for his daughter.

He sees Icey in the kitchen and thinking it’s the chick he’s banging goes to ask if she’s seen her daughter. He then notices a dead guard and the ridiculous Jean Claude Vs. Giant Penguin battle commences. Jean uses every major kitchen utensil to beat the giant penguin. Eventually her chinstrap gets caught in the dishwasher and she is strangled. She then goes through the dishwasher. Jean then runs into a security guard who turns out to be a terrorist. Darren takes him out by JAMMING A TURKEY BONE INTO HIS NECK!!!! That’s not the way you want to go. At around this time we meet Hallmark, the “Cop who’s the hero’s only ally”. Darren finds out that there are bombs planted all over the arena and he sets out to disarm them. He fights some more thugs and meets up with Hallmark. But, *What a Twist!* Hallmark is on Powers payroll and tries to take Darren out. Darren takes his son’s squirt gun, which he filled with lighter fluid, and lights Hallmark on fire. He then takes a breather but then, Hallmark bursts back, looking like the Toxic Crusader or maybe a mole man. Darren shoots him and Hallmark is down. Before Darren can take out the rest of the bombs he’s spotted by two more thugs.

Darren does the only logical thing and takes the uniform of the Penguins goalie who’s out of the game. He then makes the game-winning save by doing a sliding dive catch. He then makes some sort of sign language symbol that his son knows and thus regains his respect. Awwwwww. Anyway, after that and beating the two thugs in the exercise room, Darren then decides that the only way to stop Powers is to climb up onto the roof and swing down onto the VIP booth. To get in he concocts some sort of baking soda and vinegar bomb, which I didn’t think was explosive but I’m obviously mistaken. There’s a lone guard on the roof and Darren kicks him through the roof onto the scoreboard, which explodes and falls to the ice. Everyone finally realizes that something is going on and panics out of the stadium. Darren swings into the VIP booth and takes out all the terrorists except Powers.

Darren’s stupid son is still sitting in the arena even as explosions are going off so Darren goes and gets him. As their exiting the arena Darren’s daughter sees Powers stamped hand and recognizes him even though he has the most amazing disguise. He put on a penguins jacket and hat and a terrible brown wig and gay porn mustache. He sort of looks like a chubby, redneck Bacardi guy. Darren’s daughter is grabbed again and Darren chases Powers to the roof where a helicopter is waiting. Powers grabs a ladder and tosses Darren’s daughter off to escape. Darren catches her and grabs the ladder after Powers. At the arena top Darren jumps off and shoots at the chopper. The pilot is hit and the chopper goes tail first into the arena. Powers gives one of the longest NOOOOOOOOOOs in Cinema history. The chopper explodes on the ice and Darren is triumphant. We applaud you Jean Claude, keep up the good work.

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