ula almost acts as Renfield's
straight man. And as al-
ways, Mel Brooks is Mel
Brooks — his peculiar
screen presence and trade-
mark shtick are. enough to
provide a few laughs.
So, while Dracula may
be a bit tired in its humor,
it is certainly not a disap-
pointment. Rather, the
film is just what we've
come to expect from
Brooks. It lacks brilliance
but doesn't bore; it's good
for a few laughs but is
hardly hysterical. Hoping
for anything else from Mel
Brooks is simply unfair.
Leslie Nielson would give his eye teeth for a date in Mel Brooks' Dracula: Dead and Loving It.
n this supposed suspense-
thriller, Jean-Claude Van
Damme stars as Darren Mc-
Cord, a divorced, out-of-work
fire marshall who miraculously
saves the day. The setting, at
least, is original — the action
takes place at a hockey arena
where the Pittsburgh Penguins
and the Chicago Blackhawks vie
for the Stanley Cup.
The plot, however, is all too fa-
miliar. Sudden Death follows the
basic formula of all too many ac-
tion movies: extortionists take con-
trol, seize and kill hostages and
threaten major catastrophes un-
less the government hands over
millions of dollars.
In this case, the extortionists
hold the vice president of the Unit-
ed States (Raymond J. Barry) and
is one of the hostages in the box.
While the story sounds like a
riveting one, it is not fully devel-
oped. The script is poorly written,
the acting is mediocre and the ac-
tion is not suspenseful. Yet, the
main fault of the movie lies with
its implausible plot. McCord is too
good to be true, a jack of all trades.
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several other hostages in the own- He is playing the roles of single
er's box. If the full amount of mon- parent, fireman, martial arts ex-
ey is not transferred to the pert, goalie and bomb detonator
terrorists' accounts by the end of all at the same time.
Furthermore, McCord knows
the game, then the vice president
and hostages, as well as the hock- the structure of the arena as well
as the architect who de-
ey players and all 17,000
signed it. He not only
spectators, will die.
knows the whole building
McCord, who is tem-
layout, but in a few seconds
porarily working as a secu-
rity guard at the arena, attends is able to open the domed roof by
the game with his young daugh- a mere switch of a button. If Mc-
ter (Whittni Wright) and son (Ross Cord really possesses all of this
Malinger). He is forced to take ac- knowledge, then why is he only
tion when he learns his daughter working as a temporary security
guard? There are just too many
holes in the script that are unac-
counted for. Finally, like the rest
of the plot, the climax is contrived.
Everything 'lust happens" to fall
And if you're a hockey buff, this
movie belongs in the penalty box
— the very few scenes shown fol-
low the same, unrealistic formu-
la of the movie. The Cleveland
Lumberjacks, the Penguins' farm
team, portray the Blackhawks,
while local amateur hockey play-
ers star as the Penguins --- with
the exception of Penguins' star
Luc Robitaille, who plays himself.
The movie's only credit goes to
its astonishing special effects and
camera work. The scene where
the helicopter drops 200 feet
through the roof of the arena and
explodes is dazzling. Unlike great
action movies such as The Fugi-
tive and Die Hard, Sudden Death
describes its box office life per-
It's the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals, and Jean-Claude Van Damme
should be ashamed for being in this movie — for high schticking, at least — in
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Simsbury Plaza 33214 W.14 Mile Rd. • W. Bloomfield, Michigan 48322
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Hours: Mon.-Thurs.: 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri.: 6:30 a.m.-12 a.m.,
Sat: 7:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Sun.: 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m.,
by Mark St. Germain
An inventive comedy about Henry Ford,
Thomas Edison, and Warren G. Harding
"A minor masterpiece" — New York Magazine
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