is a 1995 movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme
. The story is about Darren McCord, a Pittsburgh
fire marshal who is on duty during the seventh National Hockey League Stanley Cup
playoff game (with his kids in the seats), watching the game uncovers a plot to hold the stadium - and the Vice President, who is attending - for ransom.
Tropes in Sudden Death include:
- Acceptable Breaks from Reality: This movie requires you to accept that this game is so interesting that every single person in the stadium - right down to the maintenance workers who are supposed to be behind the scenes and every security guard in the building are either watching the game or has been compromised. Otherwise there is no way Darren could wander the entire building which seems empty despite probably being the most occupied building in the city at that time.
- Also, before overtime begins the players are shown in the bench. The playoff rules mandate that they should go to the locker room... which in the Penguins case means they would find it riddled with bullets and with some corpses.
- Accidental Athlete: At one point Darren McCord actually has to pretend to be the Pittsburgh Penguins goalie to avoid the terrorists who have invaded the arena. He even makes a save.
- As Himself: The Penguins real announcers (Mike Lange, Paul Steigerwald) and some of their players at the time (Luc Robitaille, Markus Näslund).
- Bad with the Bone/Improvised Weapon: Darren to the Mook's neck.
- Catastrophic Countdown: Once the game is over the Big Bad will blow the stadium. When the game is tied up, the Big Bad decides the extra time is fair.
- CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable): Averted - it's actually pretty surprising that once they get Darren off of the little girl in the beginning, they just stare at her body and don't do CPR. Even in this situation any EMT or firefighter worth their chops would be all over that girl searching for any small spark of life left to work with.
- Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: Netflix streaming listed this as taking place at a baseball game.
- Die Hard on an X: Die Hard at a Hockey Playoff.
- Full Body Disguise: Darren dresses like a Penguins Goalie and goes out on the ice, sits next to and gets greeted by the team, plays goalie well, and no one notices that it's him and not the actual goalie. Not the other players, not the coach, not the audience... but for some reason the Mooks across the stadium recognize him, and his son way up in the nosebleed seats (though the only way the son recognized him was via their Secret Handshake).
- Hyper Focused Crowd: The crowd is so caught up in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs - all three periods - that they fail to notice people fighting on the catwalks above them and the fact that the parking lot is full of police cars keeping the building on lockdown.
- Peek-A-Boo Corpse: Twice, in the girls room and in the office.
- Pittsburgh: Though mostly at the stadium. It was filmed there during the 1994–95 NHL lockout. The stadium this took place at was the "Civic Arena" at the time, and later renamed "Mellon Arena" by Mellon Bank. Locals sometimes called it "the Igloo". Since then the Pittsburgh Penguins built a new arena (Consol Arena) across the street. The arena in the film was ripped down in 2012.
- It really could open as shown in the movie, but almost never was used in practice. The designers hadn't factored in how windy it would get inside with the top open, and after a few very windy graduation ceremonies and concerts opening the top was pretty much abandoned. Eventually upper tiers of seats were installed which, while enhancing revenue, hampered the ability to open the dome.
- Rule of Funny: Darren fighting the Penguins Mascot.
- Even more because the original writer said this scene was the only remnant of his script, intended as an Affectionate Parody instead of a straight-up action movie.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: A mook messes up by saying Emily's name. He then Lampshades it by saying "You didn't say it, did you?"
- No OSHA Compliance: Not a single usher is checking the seats to make sure everyone evacuated safely nor noticed a child sitting by himself in the stadium that everyone just evacuated due to an explosion. McCord, being the fire marshal on duty, is sure to include this in his report.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The movie tries to pass off Van Damme's Belgian accent as Quebecois. Then again, a Fake Canadian is appropriate to a hockey-themed movie.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: that helicopter they dropped through the roof at the end? They really did that. Ask anyone though and they'll swear it looks fake.
- Shirtless Scene: The locker room.
- Short Lived Aerial Escape: Darren shoots out the pilot and the Big Bad does a LONG Big "NO!" as the helicopter slowly crashes tail-first into the skating ring below in an orange fireball.
- Sudden Death: Not only the title, but plot-important.
- Technology Marches On: While the time period isn't stated, the idea of keeping a media blackout on the situation was a little ridiculous back in 1995, and even more so in the age of everywhere Internet access.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Several times action takes place over and around a crowd who simply cannot be distracted from the game. Not a single person is looking anywhere but the game.
- Wait Here: Darren tells Emily and Tyler to sit and watch the game. By themselves. Tyler listens. Emily gets fed up with her brother and marches straight into the plot.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out who wins the game. Everyone panics and leaves at an explosion and that's that.
- When the Big Bad decides to blow the stadium, only one charge remains. It blows a water line, sending water down a ramp, tripping people. This does not impact our protagonists at all, and is never brought up again.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: When Hallmark has a gun pulled on Darren instead of just shooting him he tells him to take his hands out of his pockets first. Bad move.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: A brutal fight to the death between Darren and a female assassin, which ends with the villain being simultaneously strangled and boiled alive. Though she's dressed as a penguin during their bout.