Sudden Death
From Peter Hyams, the director of Outland, 2010 and the Van Damme actioner Timecop, this is essentially a low-rent Die Hard knock-off set in and around an ice rink, during the climactic game of the Stanley Cup. Van Damme plays a former fireman, haunted by the death of a young girl he failed to rescue, who has let his marriage crumble, his kids pull away from him and needs a new reason to live. Cue a terrorist attack fronted by Powers Boothe, who has some dumb scheme that involves far too many coincidences, lapses in security and homicidal mercinaries to do what they’re told, so they can get some money and won’t blow up the stadium.

There are some recognisable character actors in play, but too little of Van Damme’s signature action to really draw in the fans. His most engaging fight of the film may well be one against a woman in a penguin suit, while the climactic face off with Boothe on the stadium roof involves some woeful compositing of a plummeting helicopter that really suffers after 18 years of CG innovation. Obviously this is a film to be enjoyed at the basest of levels, but truth be told I struggled to stay interested – and I was actively looking for a no-brainer.

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