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... more » 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« less
"Daylight is a traditional "disaster in New York" story, with Sylvester Stallone playing the fired Chief who redeems himself by saving people from a tunnel collapse. Given that short blurb, you can probably now plot out the entire movie, from start to finish :)
First, you go through the traditional "meet all the characters" scenes. There are fractured families, an older couple, a young struggling author, a prison transport. Throw in some unscrupulous toxic chemical transporters and a trio of insane diamond thieves, and the disaster is telegraphed from the beginning. There's no surprise, and no sense of "story" as it begins. It is very blatantly a "let's see each person start as selfish / uncaring so we can watch them grow".
Then BOOM! One thing you can say for this movie is that it has some pretty cool special effects. The scenes of the fiery blast shooting through the tunnel and taking it down are pretty impressive. We went back on the DVD and watched that part again. Even while we were watching it, though, we were pretty incredulous that anybody in that blast would have survived enough to let the movie continue. We've seen enough disaster recreations on TV to know what that type of fireball does to people. But of course, this is Hollywood, and while most people are completely slain, you end up with about 12 people trapped within the tunnel who are all perfectly able to walk and talk. There's nobody in between. Hmmmmmm.
While Stallone goes through some insanely silly moves through moving fans to get IN to the troubled group, Viggo Mortensen gets his moment to shine as Nord (yes, that's really his name), the mountain climber / rich company leader. Nord is shown as a blondeish (of course) super-sure-of-himself man who has taken on every challenge in life. Luckily, Nord is trapped in the tunnel with all his rock climbing equipment. So he tells everyone he is going to save them, tells them to pray, and heads up into a shaft to climb out. Stallone tries to warn Nord that the shaft is shaky, and for some boneheaded reason, Nord's response is "don't worry, I'm invincible!" OK, he doesn't quite say that, but he doesn't pay attention to the creaks and groans of the area around him. It is really hard to believe that someone as successful as Nord in extreme situations would have possible not gone more cautiously into this current one. Sure enough, Stallone is correct, Nord is squished, and Viggo's light is put out.
Stallone then quickly goes on to do even MORE ridiculous things than Nord was attempting, but of course being the hero, Stallone's various efforts work out pretty nicely.
I realize of course that the movie aims to show how everyone deals with stress poorly and then finally bands together as a team to help each other out, but it was REALLY annoying how certain characters kept turning into insane complainers. Sure, there will be one or two whiners in a crowd. But I think it was way overblown here. Instead of having the movie one where we could sympathize with the characters going "against the odds" - you really wanted to see most of the characters killed off. Quickly. Surprisingly, they really do kill off far more characters than one would expect in a movie like this.
But, of course, the Guy Gets the Girl, and enough people survive to make the whole ordeal worth it. Unfortunately, the movie ends with perhaps one of the worst ending lines ever made in a movie. You'll have to wait and judge that one for yourself.
A fun disaster flick with some great fiery moments - just don't expect compelling character development or much of a plot in this one. And as a safety note, contrary to what the movie says, the reason you want to be in a car during an electrical storm is NOT that the tires are rubber. Studies show that the amount of rubber on a tire is completely meaningless when compared with a bolt of lightning. It's the metal cage of the car that protects you from the electrical strike."
A collector?s edition in DVD that is worth every penny!
Babushka | Long Beach, CA | 06/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here is a disaster flick that puts the audience into a real life situation, which is unique and quite different from the typical action and adventure films. The movie, Daylight, is based on a real life occurrence of a tunnel accident in the late 1940s at the Holland and Lincoln tunnels under the Hudson River. Directed by Rob Cohen, the movie is a visionary masterpiece of a tunnel explosion that brought the whole character set to work together and risk their lives on this horrible disaster situation with the elements of nature involved. The character set is where the true inner beauty of the movie rests. It is one that I describe as not too well known to the public with a notable exception of Sylvester Stalone, who played the lead part. Here, Stalone played a sympathetic character, who brought the survivors to daylight. Although he has the persona of Rocky and Rambo, Stallone was, in the movie, an ordinary citizen who blends perfectly well with the others in the set without putting emphasis on muscles or action. Amy Brenneman (NYPD Blue) plays the female lead. She adds a freshness and excitement in the film. The presence of Viggo Mortenssen (Crimson Tide) was also exceptional who played a role as a sports celebrity. The family role models of Steven & Sarah and their daughter Ashley and an older couple put emphasis on values of caring and loving in a disastrous situation. The juvenile offenders were also terrific. Stalone's son in real life, Sage Stalone, especially gave some good highlights in the movie. The tunnel cop, George, played by Stan Shaw was a symbol of sheer humanity and warmth as he put the survivors together. Lastly, the worthwhile appearances of medical-relief workers, firemen and engineers have given their dedication for making this movie so believable for the audience to like it. Besides the good casting, this film is appraised for its outstanding cinema production as far as visual effects are concern. The filming of an explosion at the tunnel is one of a kind. What really amazes me here is the long fire ball sequence that takes the audience into this journey, for the first time, of looking inside the horrible flame that is rolling as it impacts every object in its path, melting and burning down vehicles. The DTS sound quality of the DVD is amazing here. Also, there is a lot of stunt work involved here, of course, in order to make it believable. Stalone's stunt work in the fan sequence was a thrill portion to see. Feeling the power of the water reaping through the ceiling, turbulent tremors and explosions, and the tile cracks are all formidable forces that alert the audience to join the character set to express true fear and is really amazing. The blowout was the climatic scene between Stallone and Brennemen for their last chance to escape. This blowout scene is very original and is enriched with animated graphics and stunt work, which is beautifully accomplished. One thing to comment is the excellent musical score. The musical effects present in disaster films like Daylight have the essence of thrill, fear, escape and hope. In Daylight, the musical score is one that depicts on heroism, failure and triumph of the human spirit over fear. In the introduction of the movie title itself, it has a speedily haunting sound, as it travels with the audience through a laser journey through a tunnel at night and at fast speed, which really prompts the audience to be prepared for that unthinkable situation that is about to happen.As a huge fan and collector of disaster films, the movie, Daylight, is a great flick. The DVD Collector's Edition is packed with bonus materials. It includes this film in anamorphic widescreen, a special "making of" and behind the scene track, feature commentary, production notes, cast & filmakers, theatrical trailers, a featurette and even a music video of the movie love theme "Whenever There Is Love" performed by Donna Summer. All of this in one DVD, it is definitely a movie to own."
An under-rated Stallone film
Blake Kleiner | Troy, Michigan United States | 04/02/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"To date, there exists three films with great performances by Sylvester Stallone: "Rocky" (of course), "First Blood," and "Cop Land." These three films stand alone because Stallone put himself entirely behind the characters, going so far, in the case of "Cop Land," to gain fifty pounds for the role. This is a man who can write, direct, and act. So why does he make so many bad films? Why did he, like Jean Claude Van Damme, die the straight-to-video death? It's an interesting question. But it's one that I do not have the answer to. Maybe "Rocky VI" needs to be about Stallone beating up his agents.
In any case, with so many bad films on his record, Sylvester Stallone manages to keep getting overlooked for any other achievement that doesn't have the trademark of "Rocky" or "Rambo." In 1995, he decided to make a different kind of action film. Under the direction of Rob Cohen, Stallone abandoned the shoot-to-kill image to play a former EMT Chief turned New York City cabbie. It was a wise choice.
The plot: Two trucks carrying toxic waste are traveling through the Holland Tunnel to Jersey when a group of thieves, hauling some serious buns, cause an accident to ignite the chemicals on the trucks. "Boom" is too light of a word to describe what happens next. The tunnel collapses at both ends. A wall of flame engulfs the tunnel "Independence Day"-style, leaving maybe a dozen people alive inside with a chemical fire burning up what oxygen is left to breathe. Stallone's character, Kit Latura, is present just outside the tunnel when the blast hits. He snaps back into the mindset of a paramedic and begins to save lives. As it becomes clear to the city engineers and emergency crew on the scene that a traditional rescue operation won't work, Latura is given clearance to enter the tunnel through the ventilation system.
Pretty standard action stuff so far. As the film progresses, it's Stallone's interaction with the survivors in the tunnel that begins to elevate it above clichéd action film junk. The people inside are just normal people in an extraordinary situation: Sometimes they don't act how we would like to think we would, and sometimes they go above and beyond the call of human nature to help each other. There are some real inspirational moments in "Daylight," boosted further by an emotional score by Randy Edelman. These are the moments you will remember after the credits roll.
There is also a moment allowed to Stallone, famous for these types of scenes, when he lets loose. In "Rocky," it was the scene when Rocky yells at his trainer, hitting the door, screaming about the cleanliness of his apartment. In "First Blood," it was a monologue about the horrors of Vietnam. In "Daylight," he is fed up with his own search for redemption, and is fully ready to embrace death as he plunges an explosive into the mud of the Hudson River. There is something to be said about an actor who manages not to look ridiculous when he rambles on for minutes on end in front of the camera. Stallone inhabits this kind of character monologue with a raw energy that brings him a strange grace as an actor.
"Daylight" may not be a great film, but it's a good one, and it shows that Sylvester Stallone may not be as big of a failure without Rocky as most people think."
Great Special EFX
j. | Upstate NY | 04/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recently, I picked up the DTS version at a bargain price. Since there are plenty of reviews, I will keep this short. The special effects (EFX) are sensational. I watched this movie in the past and thought it was OK. Now that I viewed this movie through my home theater, I rate it a 5.
The video transfer is fantastic and the 5.1 sound is superior. There is excellent usage of the low bass and the surround speakers. This will give your home theater a work out. The movie is a definite purchase for the 5.1 surround sound value. "
The best part is watching the cliches fight for dominance
Yossarian | Durham, NC USA | 03/09/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This movie goes way off the unintentional comedy scale. A rag-tag group of survivors, containing every possible patented Hollywood character, from the dignified elderly to the know-it-all WASP and the fiesty token minority, are subjected to a truly hilarious disaster that makes the Poseidon Adventure look like Citizen Kane. My favorite part of this film is the invincible dog. You can always tell a Hollywood hackjob by the invincible dog, which always survives everything and is, gosh, just so darn *cute* that you're supposed to get all weepy with relief when it survives through to the credits. A classic example is the golden retriever in Independence Day that, in an awe-inspiring display of poor blue screening, somehow jumps out of the way of a fireball that just destroyed Los Angeles..and of course just at the last moment. A cousin of that redoubtable pup is found here, where it actually disappears for half the movie and then suddenly comes paddling out of nowhere in a moment that is clearly intended to be triumphant, but is just flat out funny. It's long been known that people watching a movie react far more emotionally to injuries to dogs than to people, but you've stooped pretty darn low when you have to fall back on that as a plot device."