Daylight (1996) Rob Cohen

Production Budget: $80 million
American Gross: $30 million
Worldwide (outside of US): $150 million

Through an unfortunate series of events, the Jersey tunnel is damaged with both ends being crushed.  This leaves several people trapped inside with raging fires, freezing water, and dwindling air.  Among the people trapped are a failed writer Madelyne (Amy Brenneman) and survivalist/shoe entrepreneur Roy (Viggo Mortensen).  Kit (Sylvester Stallone) is a former is a former Emergency Medical Services Chief who knows the tunnel better than anyone and goes in to rescue the people.

Yes, I am reviewing yet another Sylvester Stallone movie.  But actually this movie is good.  This movie is modeled just like all the old Irwin Allen disaster movies of the 70’s like The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure.  You have a large cast of rather one dimensional characters stuck in a situation where they have to traverse a series of hazardous events.  You also have Stallone doing what he does best.  You have him hanging off structures and running through water with debris falling all around him and fires blazing everywhere.  Rob Cohen really does put a lot of exciting traps and scenes that spice up what is a tired sub genre.

Of course its an Irwin Allen disaster movie so some of the same problems of those movies crop up.  For one, all of the characters can be summed up by one line: Sandra Bullock type love interest, the ex con, the cheating husband, the sassy teen, the cocky millionaire, etc.  Daylight also runs a little bit too long.  Its as if the director says “We spent all this money and by god you will watch it all!”  There are also a few plot holes that just nagged me.  Like they send Kit into certain death without any mention of a plan to rescue the people.  And this is a problem they acknowledge.  Kit pops up out of a sewer grate and the people are like “Great, they have come to rescue us!  What’s the plan?  How are we getting out of here?”  Stallone: “Um, yeah, I got nothing.”  Shit.  We’re doomed.

Daylight delivers on what it tries to do.  It does not reinvent the wheel but it is like a good Irwin Allen cover band.  Do I recommend it?  It depends on if this is the kind of movie you are looking for.  But this is not a bad Stallone movie.


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