In 1970s disaster films were excellent opportunity for Hollywood to combine exciting action, mind-blowing special effects and powerful drama. In 1990s disaster films were Hollywood's excuse to throw money on special effects and overpaid stars of the past. At least this is impression you might get from Daylight, 1996 film directed by Rob Cohen.
The plot begins in Hudson Tunnel which connects New York with New Jersey. Bunch of young and not too bright criminals is running from police and their car slams into truck carrying toxic waste. The result is massive explosions that kills hundreds of people and cause both sides of the tunnel to collapse. Couple of survivors have only few hours before the oxygen runs out. Kit Latura (played by Sylvester Stallone), taxi driver who used to be EMS chief, volunteers to help his old buddies and descents into tunnel in order to help the survivors.
Borrowing premise from 1970s disaster film classic The Poseidon Adventure - diverse set of characters being trapped and forced to find the way to safety - Leslie Bohem's script fails to create much interests in characters and their plight. Director Rob Cohen is more interested in special effects and elaborate action scenes, blissfully unaware that some of them don't make much sense and that some elements of the script insult the viewer's audience (apart from escaping fireball cliches there are some plot holes dealing with hypothermia). The most impressive scene - explosion in the tunnel - happens at the beginning of the film, making the rest rather anti-climactic. Sylvester Stallone doesn't make much of an acting effort but somehow manages to leave good impression compared to other, more talented and respected actors who look like they were totally disinterested in playing their cliched characters. Daylight is one of those 1990s Hollywood failures that deserved to descent into oblivion.
RATING: 2/10 (-)
(Note: The text in its original form was posted in Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.films.reviews on September 17th 2003)
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