July 24, 2021

Sudden Death (1995) | ‘Die Hard’ by Van Damme

[email protected] VHS and analog age lovers to another Retro-Analysis more in this weekly section that brings you jewels (or not) of the twentieth century that I like to rescue so that the youngest know them and the oldest ones remember them.

Yippee-ki-yay, sudden death!

That ‘Crystal jungle’ (Die Hard) de John Mctiernan Y Bruce Willis It was a complete success at the end of the 80’s is indisputable and that every self-respecting action actor needed his is also undeniable: Steven Seagal (Maximum alert), Wesley Snipes (Passenger 57), Dwayne Johnson (The Skyscraper) and the actor who deals with us with his ‘copy’: Jean-Claude Van Damme and ‘Sudden Death’.

Cloning that tape was not enough at that time, so I had to look for locations that would impact the viewer and make them forget that they were facing an attempt to create another John McClane: Planes, Aircraft Carriers or Hockey Finals.

The biggest problem with Sudden Death is that Van Damme he doesn’t have (or even come close to) the charisma of Bruce Willis as an action hero. What made McTiernan’s film special, apart from its great quality, was having a protagonist who (despite being a One-man-Army) was not the classic tough guy who didn’t have time to bleed. He made mistakes, was somewhat clumsy, and fought with more courage than head. The rest of the ‘clones’ showed us perfect heroes who distributed tollinas like bread. Steven Seagal didn’t even flinch in the final showdown against Tommy Lee Jones.

Van Damme here plays a traumatized firefighter for the death of a girl who he could not rescue from a fire and this leads to a divorce. It was necessary to give depth to the character with that internal pain that the actor cannot transmit at any time, in addition imperfect heroes like the public.

Two years after this tragic event, a well-prepared villain named Joshua Foss (we know that from the end credits) played by Powers Boothe he plans to get to the VIP box during the grand finale, retain the vice president so he can get him an obscene amount of money. Everything seems to go smoothly until makes the mistake of also retaining McCord’s daughter (Van Damme).

But since the villain must be bad to the core, he also plants around 20 bombs throughout the stadium to set him off if he doesn’t get what he wants. Lucky for the party goers that this firefighter knows how to find and deactivate them. God bless America!

Sudden Death is a very generic action film that is not boring but that lacks its own entity to go down in history or be one of the best of this Belgian actor. It is a chain of sequences of action to keep us in tension and sometimes it is true that it succeeds. Directed by Peter Hyams (The Relic, The End of Days) cannot be considered his best work, I think Timecop is superior, but it works relatively well.

This feature film is too close to ‘Die Hard’ and it does not suit him, although Boothe’s work is more than decent as a nemesis, he does not measure up to Alan Rickman like Hans Gruber and his plan is too much like this one.

As a good film from the 90s, the hero’s enemies must die in painful ways (in an industrial dishwasher) and the main villain must end his evil days with the bloodiest of them.


Sudden death is a product of entertainment and escape that it will not change the world but that it will keep us well distracted for its hour and 45 minutes.

Van Damme and his Darren McCord have the charisma of a pumice stone and that keeps us from worrying about him or his children, no matter how much sign language he uses to tell Emily he loves her. That doesn’t matter either, since we want to see the bad guys die and the good guys save the day, the vice president and all the party goers.

If we forget that it is a copy of ‘Die Hard’ we will enjoy it much more and we will not see the reasonable similarities in it.

This year a ‘remake’ has been released with Michael Jay White as the main character … We will have to see it too.

Greetings from the basement of the Batcave.