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Sylvester Stallone races against time to lead a group of stranded commuters out of a collapsed tunnel 100 ft below the Hudson River, in a heart-poundingly intense thriller, filled with spectacular special effects, from director Rob Cohen.
This echo of 1970s disaster films stars Sylvester Stallone as the disgraced former head of New York City's Emergency Medical Services, a loser who is nevertheless a compulsive rescuer of people in danger. When the Holland Tunnel is sealed off after a fiery explosion and car passengers are trapped within, he goes inside and leads a group of survivors (a mixed group allegorically representing America's diversity) through all manner of pestilence toward safety. Directed by the imaginative Rob Cohen (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story), Daylight finds Stallone outrageously (and to almost campy effect) pushing the envelope of his martyr persona to near-religious levels. He throws himself, quite literally, into this part and between that entertainment factor and the unnervingly convincing effects, this is a pretty watchable film.--Tom Keogh --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The opening scene introduces an illegal shipment of highly-volatile chemicals being smuggled through the Holland Tunnel (New York to New Jersey). A stolen car driven by eccentric diamond thieves (who look and act a lot like the Splatterpunks from RoboCop 3) crashes into the transport truck carrying said chemicals with a resulting explosion that incinerates almost every living thing in the tunnel before causing it to collapse at both ends. Disgraced EMS Chief Kit Latura (Stallone) witnesses the explosion and throws himself back into the game and into the tunnel to rescue the handful of trapped survivors.
Daylight goes through all of the expected motions. It does make a strong effort to make us care about the characters but the real stars of the show are the in-camera stunts (very rare these days) and the Oscar-nominated sound effects (which lost to The Ghost and the Darkness). There's plenty of exciting set-pieces, the best of which is Kit's descent into the tunnel via a series of unstable ventilation fans. But the character drama moments are upset by inconsistent acting and questionable behavior. There's nothing exceptional about Daylight, but it's an entertaining, if relatively disappointing, action/disaster no-brainer.
The Blu Ray sports a murky 1.85:1 1080p transfer. The film never looked any better than this due to the dirty nature of the setting, and, much like the film itself, the transfer is good without being great. The DTS HD-MA sound design is much better though. None of the plethora of extras found on the DVD have been ported across.
While Stallone actually contains himself quite well for his role, its the lead female whom makes the film for me. Amy Brenneman is completely believable with her fear, annoyance and disbelief in her situation and makes the journey very entertaining. The stunts are good and the effects are done well - although I have noticed in the big explosion - no one is actually in any of the cars that get blown up!
Overall its an enjoyable action/disaster film that doesn't try to be moralistic and just provides good old fashioned popcorn fun and there's nothing wrong with that!
Risking his life to join the survivors in the tunnel; he finds a feisty writer, an elderly couple, a famous action-man, a quarrelling family, some young hoodlums, a security guard and even a dog.
Can he put his own past tragedies behind him and bring this desperate group to safety?
At the time of this movies release, Stallone was at a strange point in his career. He was still making decent action movies, but his star was falling, and people were not turning up for his movies, just like this one.
Yes, Dredd wasn't the best movie, but Assassins and The Specialist were solid movie, just like he made in the eighties, but people wanted something different, and Stallone wouldn't have a bona-fide hit until ten years later, when it was cool to be retro.
But the film in a while is not a bad effort. The opening is brilliant, the pyrotechnics and the choreography of the disaster sets the film up to be an awesome ride, but as all disaster movies go, you really have to care about the characters in order to have a care about the movie, and to be honest, many of the characters trapped, are so boorish and pretentious, I couldn't care less.
And this is the films main problem.
Stallone is wonderful, and the set pieces are spectacular, but other than Brenneman, Harris, and the dog, I want bothered about anyone else.
And this is a shame, because if the makers had taken the time to consider the characters, as much as the spectacle, this would have been one of the best disaster movies ever.
But, it's just a really good Stallone movie...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this film, fantastic quality of DVD, exactly as described.