Welcome to Sudden Death (2020)

Posted in Reviews by - December 27, 2020
Welcome to Sudden Death (2020)

Following an odd if not unwelcome trend for DTV reboots of classic Van Damme vehicles (Lady BloodfightKickboxer: Vengeance, Kickboxer: Retaliation, Hard Target 2), comes this goofy, good-natured if tonally ambiguous riff on 1995’s Sudden Death – itself a riff on Die Hard. In a particularly short running-time (78 minutes!), the always affable Michael Jai White plays an ex-military security guard whose bonding session with his young kids at a basketball game is interrupted by terrorists who take the Mayor, the governor and a “genius billionaire” technology mogul hostage in exchange for ‘digi-coin’. The script is full of these kinds of distracting misnomers; the ‘NBL’ instead of the NBA, and the ‘Phoenix Falcons’, which is just about generic enough to not infringe on any copyright. Of course, this is a few notches below the $35m budget of the 1995 film, and it really shows (Michael Eklund is no Powers Boothe, and the script could maybe have done with a second pass). There are scenes of extreme violence which jar with the family-orientated narrative, although there is never really any sense of danger, and the film mostly carries a similar lightness in tone to the spirited JCVD original. There is also some decent showboating from White, particularly in a nifty sparring session with fellow martial artist, Marrese Crump. It’s whimsy, but enjoyable whimsy nonetheless. So do we get a Timecop reboot next?

AKA: Sudden Death 2.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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