Welcome to Sudden Death

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Welcome to Sudden Death Movie Poster Image
Constant violence, some language in terrible action movie.
  • R
  • 2020
  • 81 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No positive messages in violent and cliched action movie. 

Positive Role Models

Some diversity in the characters. 


Action movie violence throughout. In a flashback scene, lead character shown as a prisoner of war getting tortured through electrocution. Lead character suffers shrapnel wounds in the back; scars shown. Woman kills herself by pointing a gun at her head and pulling the trigger. Characters shot and killed, some at point-blank range. Character dies after falling backwards and breaking his neck on a barbell. Martial arts violence. Bombs are set to detonate throughout a crowded basketball arena. Characters taken hostage. Fighting with knives; some blood. 


Frequent profanity. "F-k" used a few times. "Motherf---er" used. Also: "s--t," "dips--t," "p---y," "a--hole," "bitch," "bitch-ass," "piss," "badass," "hell." 


Bud Light taps clearly shown in one scene. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Champagne drinking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Welcome to Sudden Death is a 2020 action movie in which Michael Jai White plays a basketball arena security guard who must stop a group of terrorists from blowing it up. It's a stand-alone sequel to the 1995 Jean-Claude Van Damme movie Sudden Death. There's constant violence throughout the movie -- characters shot and killed, a character who puts a gun to her head and pulls the trigger, martial arts violence, some blood. A character dies after falling backwards and breaking his neck on a barbell. Bombs are set to detonate throughout a crowded basketball arena, and characters are taken hostage. In a flashback scene, the lead character is a prisoner of war getting tortured via electrocution. Regular profanity, including "f--k" and its variations used a few times. Other language includes "s--t," "dips--t," "p---y," "a--hole," "bitch," "bitch-ass," "piss," "badass," and "hell." Champagne drinking. Racial diversity in the cast. Expect a predictable action movie with unbelievably bad dialogue. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byIriska55 November 16, 2020

Waste of time

This is one of the top 10 worst movies I’ve ever watched. So poorly done, actors don’t act well, fighting scenes are so unnatural, the music picked for some of... Continue reading
Adult Written byACE201888 October 17, 2020

Another Michael Jai White flop.

Let's get something straight if you see the name "Michael Jai White," you know that the movie won't be too good. No, I don't hate or di... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bysxkhn March 13, 2021

not even that bad

people say it’s ‘one of the worst movies they’ve watched’ yes, acting wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worst movie i’ve ever watched. partly because i like the... Continue reading

What's the story?

In WELCOME TO SUDDEN DEATH, Jesse (Michael Jai White) is a former Special Forces officer who's now trying to settle down with his wife and two kids, starting a new job as a security guard in a basketball arena. It's the finals today at the Odyssey Arena, and Jesse brings his two kids, Mara and Ryan, to see the big game. It's a packed house, with many VIPs, including the governor, the mayor, the billionaire owner of the team, and her hip-hop star boyfriend. As the game starts, a group of terrorists, led by a man known simply as "Alpha," break into the owner's suite where the VIPs are watching the game and take them hostage. Meanwhile, Alpha's team, dressed like security guards, kill the actual security guards, and set up bombs throughout the arena. Alpha and his team want the billionaire's money, and as they wait for the wire transfer to complete, the game continues. Jesse soon suspects the worst, and after confronting then defeating some of these fake security guards, he learns of Alpha's plot to steal the owner's money and leave before the arena blows up. He also learns that Mara has also been taken hostage. With help from the gregarious janitor Gus, Jesse must find each bomb and detonate it, and then he must find Alpha and stop him before it's too late. 

Is it any good?

If your answer is "Yes!" to the never-asked question, "Should there be a stand-alone sequel to Sudden Death, 25 years later?", then Welcome to Sudden Death is the movie for you. It's almost the same movie, only basketball instead of hockey, and Michael Jai White instead of Jean-Claude Van Damme. Only now, the cliches and bad dialogue that were at least good for mindless entertainment in the 1990s are so played out, one can't be blamed for experiencing deja vu while watching this. The dialogue is excruciatingly bad. The characters are one-dimensional, and even that's pushing it. The bad guy is named "Alpha," and his team of other bad guys and ladies answer to other code names inspired by the letters of the Greek alphabet. The bad guy's trademark move is to constantly wipe his nose, despite no other evidence of either a cold or cocaine addiction. 

There are attempts at humor that fail to sound like something from any of the Bad Boys movies. The conclusion of the basketball game going on in the background is more interesting than the direct action of the movie. Admittedly, many of the fight scenes are entertaining, but it's impossible to tune out everything else that simply isn't working in this movie. Also, not to nitpick, but unlike in hockey, there's no sudden death overtime in pro basketball, which eliminates the play on words of the title, but that's the least of the problems here. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about action movies. How does Welcome to Sudden Death compare to other action movies you've seen?

  • Did the violence here seem excessive, or was it necessary to tell the story? Why?

  • What's the appeal of action movies? Why do they remain so popular?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

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