Dave Bautista’s Next Action Thriller Is Kind of Ripping Off Jean-Claude Van Damme

Coming off his success in Guardians of the Galaxy, former WWE star Dave Bautista is a potential action hero in the making. Perhaps that's why he's looking to a previous action hero for success. He'll soon be starring in a remake of Kickboxer, and his newest project also sounds like an old Jean-Claude Van Damme movie. The new film Final Score is basically Sudden Death, with the sport swapped out.

There was a time in the early 1990's when Jean-Claude Van Damme was the king of the action genre. As we now sit about 20 years after the fact, it's fitting that his old movies are now being considered for the remake/reboot treatment. When Dave Bautista was cast as Tong Po in Kickboxer Vengeance, the reboot to Van Damme's classic, it seemed like perfect casting. Bautista is a larger than life beast, they called him "the animal" in WWE for a reason. However, following on that decision, the description of Bautista's movie, Final Score had us scratching our head. According to Variety, the new film, which will co-star Pierce Brosnan, is about a group of criminals who seize a sports stadium during a soccer match and demand ransom. Only an ex-soldier in the crowd will have the skills necessary to save everybody.

If that synopsis sounds familiar, it's because it's essentially identical to Jean-Claude Van-Damme's 1995 movie Sudden Death. In that film, Van Damme is an ex-firefighter, not a soldier. The one where he was an ex-soldier was Lionheart, it gets confusing. Also, the sporting event was a hockey game, specifically, Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, not a soccer match. No, it wasn't a basketball game. You're thinking of Double Team when Van Damme co-starred with Dennis Rodman. Yeah, it gets confusing.

Just because Final Score sounds derivative doesn't mean it won't be a good movie. Sudden Death itself falls into the "Die Hard in a X" formula that nearly every action movie tried to be back then, and still does to some extent. Although, Sudden Impact does get points for being the only one where the hero beats up a girl in a mascot costume. Final Score probably won't have that.

Do soccer teams have people who dress up in giant mascot costumes? We certainly need to get Dave Bautista beating up a guy dressed like a giant animal.

Dave Bautista will next be seen in Kickboxer Vengeance. Next year he'll also be reprising his role as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.