Sudden Death

D-
December 22, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST

Sudden Death (Universal, R) In his 14th American film, Jean-Claude Van Damme is frozen stiff, battling a band of terrorists who are holding an arena of ice hockey fans hostage. Loaded Weapon auteur Gene Quintano’s mind-numbingly sadistic screenplay tries to be a comical Die Hard knockoff (in the movie’s absurdest moment, our hero kickboxes a guy in a penguin suit). But director Peter Hyams (Timecop) Zambonis any potential humor with inept editing and a plodding pace. The snoozeworthy supporting cast — Powers Boothe as the obligatory wisecracking criminal mastermind, Three’s Company’s Audra Lindley as one of ump-dozen victims — doesn’t help. J-C’s never going to get to play in the Bruce-Arnold-Sylvester leagues if he keeps making derivative drivel like this. The one saving grace: We’re spared the trademark shot of the Belgian musclehead’s bare derriere. D-

Sudden Death

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