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Film / Daylight

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Daylight is a 1996 Disaster Movie, starring Sylvester Stallone, Amy Brenneman, Viggo Mortensen, Dan Hedaya, Mark Rolston, and Danielle Harris. It was directed by Rob Cohen and released in theaters on December 6, 1996.

When an explosion blocks New York's Holland Tunnel at both ends, ex Emergency Medical Services Chief Kit Latura (Stallone) is the only one with the know-how and experience to save the day. Risking his life to join the survivors in the tunnel; he finds a feisty writer, an elderly couple, a famous action-man, a quarreling family, some young hoodlums, a security guard and even a Weimaraner dog. Can he put his own past tragedies behind him and bring this desperate group to safety?

This film provides examples of:

  • Air-Vent Passageway: Latura entering the tunnel via an air vent - albeit a massive one. The scene wherein he passes through the four giant fans before they speed up is widely regarded as easily the best part of the movie.
  • Asshole Victim: Roy Nord. Seriously, after the disrespectful way he blew off Kit, he totally had it coming.. Also, the big juvie who dies when he tries to kill Latura with a hunk of concrete.
  • Award-Bait Song: Whenever There Is Love by Donna Summer & Bruce Roberts.
  • Bat Scare: The Swarm of Rats, which scares some of the survivors but doesn't harm them and leads them to an escape-route.
  • Bury Your Disabled: George is left to die because of his broken neck. However, it's George's suggestion and he has to talk Latura into it.
  • Chase Scene: What ends up causing the explosion in the tunnel.
  • Cold Equation: Agreeing to let George stay behind (and die.)
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The reason why they're dumping the illegal waste in New Jersey by driving through the tunnel.
  • Deadly Rotary Fan: To reach the people trapped in the tunnel, Latura must abseil down between the blades of the massive fans in the ventilation system. The blades can only be slowed down for a short period of time, and once they're back up to speed they could chop him to bits in seconds.
  • Death by Looking Up: When the debris in the shaft that Roy is climbing up begins to collapse, he quickly rappels back to the bottom, but doesn't have time to unhitch himself from his harness before it all comes down on his head. The last thing he does is look up at it.
  • Death by Materialism: The entire disaster is sparked because one of the diamond thieves in the beginning of the movie stoops down to pick up spilled diamonds and causes the driver to accidentally floor it, sending them into one of the trucks and causing the explosions.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Viggo Mortensen is billed third to Sylvester Stallone and Amy Brenneman. His role just has him showing that he's an egocentric survivalist. He promptly gets killed when he tries climbing an unstable tunnel shaft that Latura explicitly states is treacherous.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: After the explosions, the tunnel turns into this for Latura. Toward the end, he's even daring it to keep trying to kill him (and the last survivor) as he plants his final explosive. They both survive.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: "Die Hard" in a tunnel.
  • Disaster Dominoes: The tunnel collapse occurs this way.
  • Doomed Hurt Guy: George.
  • Drives Like Crazy: The crooks in the getaway car, who start the disaster.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Latura is this in-universe.
  • Jerkass: Nord. The man decides to try to save the people in the tunnel mostly because it would provide him with a whole lot of publicity. He also dismisses the passing of his friend (that was fried by the initial explosion) with borderline nonchalance.
  • Noodle Incident: Why Latura stopped being an EMT and is now a limo driver. All that it's known for sure is that it was a disaster that forced him to resign in disgrace, made national news, and killed the brother of Frank Craft (Dan Hedaya's character) among other people.
  • Novelization: By Max Allan Collins.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The city officials that want to open the tunnel right away even though that means it will kill the survivors.
  • Product Placement: A Panerai Luminor Marina is featured consistently on Sylvester Stallone's wrist. Incidentally, it was his own choice, having seen then massive (for that time) 44mm watch in a shop window during a trip to Florence. He then proceeded to buy quite a few of them, which he insisted on wearing in the film. This move is often credited for popularizing Panerai outside of Italy.
  • Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: An elderly couple, a jerkass action guy, several juvies, a family, a failed playwright, a security guard, a dog, a family and an ex-EMT chief.
  • Retirony: George, the security guard guy.
  • Rising Water, Rising Tension: An explosion traps commuters in a tunnel under the Hudson River as water starts to seep in.
  • Stupid Crooks: The jewel thieves who speed through a busy traffic tunnel mess around with the diamonds distracting the driver and end up crashing into a truck carrying explosive materials.
    • The big juvie who decides attacks Latura for little reason who then dies when he makes another attempt.
  • Suit with Vested Interests: The Jerkass member of the NY traffic commission that orders an immediate opening of the tunnel even if that means risking structural collapse and flooding and everybody that is still alive inside getting killed, because she won't take New York traffic being collapsed so much as one second longer.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The punk diamond thieves who cause the initial accident.
    • Roy Nord seriously thought his experience as a commercial action man would protect him. It doesn't.
    • One of the hoodlums tries to attack Latura despite him being a rescue worker, and ends up killed in another attempt.
  • Title Drop: George telling Kit to take the survivors to back to daylight.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Wilson, "Mr. California", the man who took over as head of EMT after Latura had to resign. He is on-screen long enough to showcase he is a textbook smug Hot-Blooded Commander Contrarian that hates Latura's guts... and then gets flattened by a collapsing tunnel he crawls into in order to see if he can find a way to access the main tunnel.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: When rats start pouring into the gang's temporary shelter, LaTonya freaks out and can barely move.