I first saw Daylight on December 20th 1996, at a preview screening at a long since-demolished theater. It was an enjoyable experience at the time though I was let down at the numerous cliches the story bombarded us with. Now, over 14 years later, I am still impressed by the action the film has to offer, but the predictable nature of the narrative brings the overall quality of the film down.
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.