Sudden Death

It’s the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals, a meanie holds the vice president of the United States hostage while 17,000 fans sit in an arena that’s been wired to explode, and it’s fire marshal Jean-Claude Van Damme to the rescue. Badly conceived, written (by Gene Quintano), acted, and directed (by Peter Hyams), with some terrible process shots (though excellent purple marks on Van Damme’s face to suggest bruises), this mechanical suspense thriller only springs to life during its gruesomely violent fight scenes, some of which are staged with props as if they were musical numbers. With Powers Boothe, Raymond J. Barry, and Whittni Wright. (JR)

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