Who were the movie stars you adored as a child? Depending on when you were a kid, movie stars of different genres and styles might be more appealing in one way or another. As a child of the 1980s, Arnold Schwarzenegger reached heights imagined as a child. Luckily, growing up, I was able to see movies that a kid like me probably shouldn’t have seen. Movies like Schwarzenegger predator, Robocopand Sylvester Stallones Rocky IV were persistent videotapes that would fill my top-loading VCR. People look back at the 1980s with rose-colored glasses, but there are parts of that decade that really live up to the hype.

Movie poster for Sudden Death

The 1980s showcased the best and worst that cinema had to offer. Emerging from the New Hollywood era of the 1970s, offbeat and independent films gave way to more commercial properties aimed at maximizing box office sales. Going commercial isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Damn it, some of Hollywood’s best comedy, drama, and especially action movies came out this decade. films such as Deadly weapon, missing in actionand command dominated the cinemas, but one film stood above all the others: Die Hard.

Everyone and their aunt knows about the first adventure of everyman/hero John McClane: a worker cop trapped in a skyscraper fighting terrorists. The simple sounding title does a perfect job of encapsulating the simple sounding plot synopsis. And anyone who has seen the film knows that a lot more happens during the film’s 132-minute runtime. One of the most influential aspects of Die Hard came along with how people described action movies after the movie’s release. Gone are the days of lengthy plot summaries and spoiler-filled descriptions. Enter “Die Hard to one -.” It’s simple, to the point, and has taken the place of wordy summaries that did the hard work of dissecting a movie. Under siege? Die Hard on a boat. Con Air? Die Hard on an airplane. Under Siege 2: Dark Territory? Die Hard in the train. After the release of John McClane’s First Adventure, summarizing a film has never been easier.

And while Die Hard Elevating action films from mindless fun to serious cinema, those looking for escapism still found opportunities. As the calendar shifted from the 1980s to the 1990s, there were plenty of action heroes left willing to do their own brand of justice for a simple 90 minutes. Movie stars like Chuck Norris, Michael Dudikoff and Charles Bronson have produced many movies to satisfy every action movie fan’s desires. NFL player Brian Bosworth also threw his hat into the ring Freezing. If Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone are A-list stars in the action genre, Chuck Norris, Michael Dudikoff, and Charles Bronson fall into the B- and C-tier levels. Just because an actor isn’t A-list doesn’t mean they can’t deliver A-list action.

Take Brussels muscleman Jean-Claude Van Damme, for example. Breakout in the mid 80’s blood sports made JCVD ​​a Hollywood name as he worked his way up the action ladder Kickboxer, Universal Soldierand John Woo’s American directorial work, hard target. While he was never known for producing the best action, there was enough escapism in Van Damme’s films to make his films easily digestible.

Van Damme peaked in the mid-1990s. With the highs that John Woo can offer, JCVD ​​made this the biggest hit of his career time cop. no way time cop a masterpiece, or even a movie as good as that, but the stellar concept, entertaining visuals, and solid direction helped set a flag to mark a high point in the action star’s resume. When you’ve got a top-flight action blockbuster under your belt, you might think the sky’s the limit.

Then came street fighter. I don’t want to delve too deeply into why this 1994 video game adaptation killed all of JCVD’s momentum, as that’s an article for another day. Let’s assume that Van Damme’s ego and cocaine habit clouded his judgment during this time and stunted any momentum that had been building. Jean-Claude Van Damme needed a hit (pun intended), returned to the fountain and teamed up with his again time cop Director Peter Hyams for the 1995 action film, Sudden death.

Foss, with a cigarette in his mouth, holds a lighter.

And, boy, was it a welcome return. Following the tried and true formula of Bruce Willis’ 1988 action classic, the description of Sudden death is Die Hard in an ice hockey arena.

Jean-Claude Van Damme tells the story of the firefighter-turned-firefighter for the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team, and plays Darren McCord. After a tragedy at work, his heroism is on the wane. McCord now changes the lightbulbs in the arena and secures his two children tickets to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup. Also present is the Vice President of the United States, seated in a luxury box. Unnoticed by McCord or those associated with the Vice President, a group of terrorists, led by Joshua Foss-Powers Boothe, infiltrate the arena in a glorious, scenic performance, and take the Vice President hostage. While those in attendance are unaware of the drama unfolding in the luxury box and are fixated on the game, only McCord can stop the terrorist conspiracy, rescue the Vice President and keep everyone in the arena safe.

As you can see the blueprints for Sudden death are identical to Die Hard. Do that Sudden death a terrible movie? Certainly not! Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

I hear you ask what makes Sudden death the best 80s action movie of the 90s. If you’re copying the original for a movie, first and foremost make sure it’s a good piece of cinema. You build your idea and find a balance to perfect the storyline, the characters, the plot, etc. And while this article is subjective – I can hear people screaming Under siege, speedor The stoneI find that no other film feels as at home as an action film outside of the 80’s Sudden death.

I’ll get the subtleties out of the way first. I’ve never been a fan of the Muscles from Brussels. His limited acting skills, mixed with a lack of humor and awareness, hinder any hope of him becoming a top-notch action hero. Whereby he has come into his rights in later years The Expendables II, JCVD, and the latest entries of the kickboxer franchise, the first half of his career was a rough ride. What you recorded around 1995 was limited in terms of resources.

What director Peter Hyams did with those limitations was understand them, let JCVD ​​do what he does best, and surround him with enough bells and whistles — so the lead actor doesn’t drag the film down. For most of the movie, JCVD ​​has JCVD ​​running around the arena alone, taking out terrorists and defusing bombs. No idle chatter, no action-driving speeches. Just keep it moving, kick some butt and save the day.

McCord smiles and points.

As JCVD ​​works to save the day, Powers Boothe saves the film. Anyone unfamiliar with the actor knows that he has an impressive presence, an authoritative voice and a penchant for choosing unforgettable villain roles. Powers Boothe remains one of Hollywood’s finest character actors. From his substitution tombstonethe underestimated Extreme prejudiceor as Cy Tolliver in deadwood, the man knew how to steal a scene (or a movie). And he does just that in Sudden death.

As Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber stole the show Die Hard, Powers Boothe does the same. What could be a stock scoundrel threatening everyone by extorting money; Boothe’s Joshua Foss elevates from standard to unforgettable with an insanely cheerful undercurrent throughout the film. And there is a threat, including killing hostages at the end of each period. Boothe’s performance and Hyam’s direction never dwell on violence. Both balance skillfully Sudden death by keeping it an R-rated “fun” film rather than a dark and realistic tone and closer to the action films of the 1980s.

The other aspect that uplifts Sudden death Above most other action films is the use of locations. What’s the point of shooting in the Civic Arena, home of the penguins, if you don’t use every inch of space? Thankfully, Hyams and JCVD ​​give audiences as much sightseeing as possible in the film’s 110 minutes.

As previously mentioned, Powers Boothe is holding the Vice President and a number of hostages in a luxurious cabin. During this time, Jean-Claude Van Damme fights henchmen in the kitchen, in underground access areas, through the crowd, and into the player’s dressing room. The culmination of this is the kitchen match, in which McCord fights a villain dressed as the Pittsburgh Penguins mascot. How damn cool is that?

Let’s up the ante even more. At one point, the character of JCVD ​​steals a Pittsburgh Penguins goalie uniform and is forced onto the ice to play a hockey shift. Does it make sense? Not at all, but I love it! Add in a visit to the owner’s box, use of a Zamboni outside of hockey, and a trip to the retractable roof and you have a movie that ticks all the boxes!

and what i love Sudden death and the action movies of the ’80s as a whole are written for the moment rather than planning for the future. There’s a wistfulness where logic is kicked to the curb to serve experience. While we all love Die Hard, there are a lot of logic jumps that we skip because the film is fun and entertaining. When you have a good, simple story with sharp direction and a cast firing on all cylinders, moment matters more than logic.

McCord crouched, machine gun in hand.

The same applies Sudden death. Should I say it’s at the level of Die Hard? By far not. I’m saying that everything you love about classic 80’s action movies made its way into this 1995 JCVD ​​film. It’s easy. It’s on point. And it never lets up to make sure you have a good time. and Sudden death is a good time and then some. For me, without a doubt, the best 80s action movie of the 90s.

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