A bloodied Darren McCord (Jean-Claude Van Damme) in Sudden Death.

Darren McCord is the main protagonist of the 1995 thriller, Sudden Death.

He was played by Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Character BiographyEdit

McCord, a Canadian firefighter for the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Fire Department, failed to save a young girl from a house fire and thus didn't have any faith in himself to be a hero again, too scared of the possibility of another death. Now removed from active duty, Darren is the fire marshal for the Civic Arena. While attending a hockey game with his daughter Emily and his son Tyler, he discovers a crime operation occurring in the arena.  A terrorist group led by former United States government employee Joshua Foss is holding the Vice President and others hostage in the VIP booth. Darren must not just stop Foss, but somehow send the game into overtime and save his children simultaneously.

DHS- Darren McCord in action

Darren is first pulled into the plot when Emily is kidnapped by Carla, the sole female member of the terrorists dressed as the mascot Iceburgh. Darren, who had given pursuit, is left to search in vain. Carla returns to deal with Darren and a long fight breaks out. He proves to be more than a match for Carla. Darren manages to kill Carla by kicking her into a large dishwasher, which pulls on her penguin's head strap and strangles her.


McCord with a suppressed Uzi submachine gun.

Darren finds a security guard, but this man is a hostile in disguise. He gets the upper hand this time, though, and forces information out of the thug before stabbing him in the neck. Darren heads up to the executive offices and finds a mobile phone, with which he calls the police.  They put him in touch with Secret Service Agent Matthew Hallmark, who advises that Darren stand by while the agents take charge. He angrily refuses, saying that he will handle this himself.

Darren manages to find a few of the bombs and disable them, whilst Foss goes about killing several hostages.  Eventually, Hallmark manages to sneak inside and meet with Darren, revealing himself as a criminal. Darren kills Hallmark and uses Hallmark's phone to contact Foss, who taunts the man with the news that he is holding his daughter captive.

As time quickly ticks down, Darren manages to disable more bombs, but is severely slowed by confrontations with Foss' men. At one point, the fire marshal must pretend to be the Pittsburgh goalie to escape the thugs and ends up successfully defending a shot. The game is brought to sudden death, prolonging it, but only until the next goal is made. Darren decides that there's no time left to find the remaining bombs and climbs up to the roof of the arena.  He advances upon the owner's box from above and forces his way in, rescuing Emily and the remaining hostages.

Foss manages to escape and blend in with the chaos before recapturing Emily and escaping to the roof where a helicopter is waiting. Darren intervenes and saves his daughter. As Foss flees, a wounded Darren shoots the pilot through the floor with a Heckler & Koch P9S pistol. The pilot's death causes the plane to wipe out and crash into the ice rink, exploding killing Foss in the process. As Darren is being led to a waiting ambulance, his son and daughter comment to the paramedics about how their father is a hero, while Tyler had before told Emily that their father was too scared to be a fireman again. A contented Darren is put inside the ambulance and taken away to the hospital.


  • Darren McCord is the only character in a Die Hard scenario film to be Canadian. In fact, some joke that Sudden Death is "Die Hard for Canadians".
  • Darren McCord is one of the few protagonists to take down a few female terrorists. Others include John McClane of the Die Hard franchise, Jack Bauer on "24" and Mike Banning from Olympus Has Fallen franchise.