Sudden Death with Soccer
Final Score (2018): 6 out of 10: Above average direct to video movie starring Dave Bautista. Basically Die Hard in a football (soccer) stadium.
So onto the questions
Is it as good as Die Hard? Nope, not even close. Much as Jaws rip-off reminds one how good Jaws really was, most Die Hard ripoffs remind us how good of a film Die Hard really was. I include all the Die Hard sequels in this statement.
Is it as good as Sudden Death? Unfortunately not. For those who don’t recall 1995’s Sudden Death, it starred Jean-Claude Van Damme as a local Pittsburgh firefighter. (No, really) who tries to save the Vice President (Seriously) during game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals (I am not making this up). The fact he has a fight against a murderous Penguin mascot alone puts it heads and shoulders above this film.
Sudden Death had a child in peril, does this movie? You betcha. Lara Peake plays Danni, the daughter of a former army comrade that Bautista feels guilt over as he gave the order that got her father killed. He flies in from the states to check in on the family and takes the girl out to a soccer game. She ditches him for some boys and it is his search for her that leads to him discovering our nefarious terrorists.
Does the bad guy’s plan make sense? I will say no. They are looking for their comrade who disappeared and is wearing a disguise. They don’t want to kill him as much as kidnap him and make him lead their revolution. So they wire part of the stadium with explosives and search the stands using face recognition software. What they don’t do is send their guys down to the stands and just grab him when he has to take a bathroom break or get a hot dog or something. Basically, they are fishing with dynamite.
Oh, Pierce Brosnan is in this. Is he the bad guy? No, he plays the disguised comrade mentioned above. He phones it in so much I have to think Bruce Willis is running a class somewhere.
Are there any good bits? Quite a few, actually. The bad guys may have a silly plan, but they have a mean streak a mile wide. They love shooting people in the head for little or no reason. Martyn Ford, as the muscle man bad guy, is a sight to behold. He looks like he could beat up a moving truck. Lucy Gaskell plays a motorcycle riding bad girl who honestly needs to star in her own movie.
Outside of a well above average bad guy roster the action scenes are well filmed and clearly shot and the comic relief provided by an Indian usher (Amit Shah) is often amusing.
I notice you have yet to mention the star, Dave Bautista? Yeah, he is okay. His character lacks well character. He also suffers from the fact that no matter how ridiculous, he never seems to get injured or even slow down. Dude falls forty feet onto concrete and barely limps. His character makes no sense. He has tactical training but can’t figure out how to alert the authorities in a football stadium that has a live television broadcast? His female ward isn’t any better, mind you. I know she is supposed to be a damsel in distress, but the script has her ditch her “uncle” at the stadium for a boy. (Which marks her as a remarkably bad person). Then when she gets alone with the boy and he tries to kiss her, she gets a case of the vapors like we were in a Victorian drama. Note to screenwriter; teenage girls kiss boys they just ran off with, That is why they run off with them.
There are some additional problems. The stadium is full of blind people. There are gunfights, explosions, motorcycles flying above them, and not one player or fan even notices the chaos. Nor do they panic when the cell phones are all cut off and all the gates are closed and locked. I mean, really? Add in some serious stormtrooper shooting by the bad guys and Dave Batista walking off getting his head smashed against a hot grill and his hand dipped in a fryer and you have too much for the ye olden suspension of belief.
So more of a science fiction picture? Well, West Ham reaching the European Cup Semi Final is practically the definition of Science Fiction.
Anything Else to add? The bad guys and honestly the movie wuss out at the end. You have a stadium filled with C4 and yet the final explosion looks like an old pensioner’s oxygen tank went off. Overall, however Final Score is an enjoyable film and a nitpickers delight. Dave Bautista does need to find a character other than the guy who doesn’t get hurt when clearly he should though. He also needs a new agent. Escape Plan 3? Really? Dave, did you see Escape Plan 2? You know the one you were in?