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Starring Sylvester Stallone,
IN SHORT: It took Hollywood to do what Arab terrorists could only dream about (that is, blowing up a New York City tunnel).
Oh, wait a second. The movie is called Daylight. The tunnel is called Holland links Manhattan and New Jersey, and it blows up good, too. The explosion seals the Holland Tunnel at both ends, but there are enough cracks to let water drip through; we know that the poor souls trapped within will drown if some manly man doesn't get to them first.
I should tell you that the Tunnel blows up by accident, when toxic waste being smuggled to Jersey (where else?) goes kablooey in a traffic accident that is as much a stretch of the imagination as, well, that made by newspapermen who wrote that the Titanic was "unsinkable." Or that of the screenwriter who managed to piece together a supporting cast who miraculously escape unscathed while everybody else in every car around them dies a horrible, toxic waste-burned and fume-smothered death. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Kit Latura (Sylvester Stallone) is the required manly man, as mentioned two paragraphs back, and manly man that he is, he takes control of the rescue efforts. In the by-the-book screenplay by Leslie Bohem, we discover that Latura is an ex-EMS chief who made a bad decision once upon a time, which caused some of his men to die. Reduced to driving for a car service, he just happens to be in the right place at the right time, while his former EMS crew works the disaster. This affords Latura a chance to clear his bad name, of course.
Stuck inside the tunnel are co-star Amy Brennerman as a wannabe playwrite; a cop (George Tyrell); some kind of TV star -- maybe he does commercials, I'm not really sure (Viggio Mortensen); a pair of really rich folks with their dog; a family that argues; and a van full of shackled teen prisoners. There are a couple of others, but that's all the "color" you need for now.
If you saw the trailer, you could write this thing blindfolded. It goes like this: The trapped try to get out by themselves, but they fail, killing at least one of 'em in a horrible manner. Meanwhile, on the outside (breathing fresh air), Stallone is arguing that only he can go in and save the day. The suits in charge tell him no, but he does it anyway. Yadda yadda yadda.
The surprise is that it works . . .
. . . well, no, it doesn't. But Daylight is, at times, so spectacularly bad that it is hysterically funny. That, in itself, is worth a couple of bucks. As one gentleman I spoke with on the way out of the theater put it, "This never should have seen daylight."
It's Rocky meets The Poseidon Adventure with an explosive firewall reminiscent of the one you saw in Independence Day. What spontaneous applause there was (it happened two or three times) was drowned out by roars of laughter at the terrible acting, terrible script, and Stallone emoting into a wall of mud.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Daylight, he would have paid...
Daylight is worth the rental -- as long as someone else pays.
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