Some films give a big show in their previews and others just don’t show anything, Daylight is big no matter what way you look at it. Right from the beginning you are shown what is going to happen but you don’t care since the plot of the movie is the escape and not how they get trapped. Getting trapped is the reason for the movie and what happens after will keep you on the edge of your seat for the rest of the film. Sure the dialog is rather limited but when you have explosions, cave in, car crashes and near death experiences happening every few moments you really don’t have that much time to talk except to tell someone else to run. We don’t watch these kinds of films for what is spoken but for what is happening. This is a drama as in that it deals with real life possibilities but it is full on action with what is happening in the film.
Kit Latura (Sylvester Stallone) used to be an EMS member but now is a driver for well to do clients. He was good at his job but when he made a call that got some people killed he lost that job. Those skills that he learned are going to be very useful for what is about to happen to him and others in the tunnel between Jersey and Manhattan. Even though he is going to make sure that all those that can be saved are saved he is not the cause of what is about to happen. It is almost a comedy of errors that cause the entire mess to begin with. A company that doesn’t want to have to pay for the proper disposal of hazardous materials has hired some trucks to drive the material over to New Jersey to get rid of it. They don’t care what happens to it just as long it is not on their property or books. The stuff is highly explosive and the slightest thing can set it off. Elsewhere in town a jeweler is getting ready to deliver some diamonds to a client and is car jacked as he is getting into his car. They know what he is delivering and cut the chain that connects the briefcase to the jeweler’s wrist and steal the care to make a getaway. You can really tell how old the film is as the fax in the car spits out a slow printout that they are being tracked.
Madelyne Thompson (Amy Brenneman) is fed up with all the crap that is going on in her life. She lives in a roach infested rat filled apartment in New York as she tries to make a life as a script writer. She just got yet another rejection letter and her boyfriend just called asking for more time as his wife is calling him to dinner. She can’t take it anymore and jumps into the car to get out of the town forever. She wants out and doesn’t care what is left behind. Traffic on the bridges are backed up so she heads for the tunnel to make her escape. At the same time Roy Nord (Viggo Mortensen) is finishing up a business meeting where he is discussing a new line of shoes with his board members. They want to get more sales and have decided to use the Super Bowl to get those sales with 2 different ads. Now he is off to the airport to go on yet another adventure as he is an adrenaline junky and extreme climbing and sports enthusiast. He too is forced to take the tunnel to get where he needs to be.
What causes the problem in the tunnel is the interaction between the stolen care and the hazardous material that is in the trucks. While the care is trying to get away from the cops that are chasing them they try to use the tunnel to get out of town and into another district so they can make their getaway. As they are weaving in and out of traffic one of the girls tries to get a diamond that fell under the drivers feet and winds up pushing his foot to the floor causing the care to speed out of control. As the driver tries to avoid traffic he runs up the side of the tunnel and slams into the rear truck caring the explosive chemicals. This of course causes a massive explosion that sends a huge fireball in either direction. The blast kills just about everyone in the tunnel except for the lucky or unlucky few that we see in the film. It is the struggle that they all make and their interactions with each other that truly make the film worth seeing.
Bit by bit the tunnel survivors have to face challenges that test both their courage and their ingenuity and ability to deal with extreme situations. You have executives, thieves, criminals and cheating husbands all in the mix. They want to get out and it is only Kit that is going to be able to make sure that they are able to see Daylight once again. This film as I said is going to keep you on the edge of your seat as you root for them all to make it to safety. It really is a well made film full of detailed models and physical effects that you just don’t see in films today. There was not any high end computer graphic effects in this film. It used scale models to bring a realism to it that you just don’t see or feel in the CG effects that are used today. You can almost feel the heat from the effects that they have used in this film.