The assembly line of adrenaline-pumping obstacles makes the two-hour runtime fly by, though director Rob Cohen (DragonHeart, The Fast And The Furious, xXx) still manages to highlight a handful of quieter moments.
This $80 million disaster epic takes us back to the simple, tacky pleasures of Irwin Allen's "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972) and "The Towering Inferno" (1974), although Allen's blockbusters had more of a feeling for character and mythic resonance than "Daylight" ever demonstrates. [6 Dec 1996]
Until the patently preposterous finale (you can just hear the studio suits saying, "Ya gotta make it big"), the miserable perils faced by the damp, sooty, squabbling motorists are claustrophobically convincing, assuming you accept in the first place that they escaped a fireball that looks as though it should have fried every living thing between the New Jersey and Manhattan shores.
The script fires off clunker after clunker so fast you don't know whether to laugh or cry. (I chose to laugh as I'd already done enough crying at The English Patient.) Vintage bad Stallone, this lost-in-the-shuffle Summer of '96 blockbuster is just what you thought it would be: loud, boisterous, and without a single original line of dialogue. It's enough to make you miss Judge Dredd.
Combined with the sluggish story line, Daylight becomes a chore to sit through: The only people who want to get out of the tunnel more desperately than the characters in the movie are the ones stuck in the theater. [6 Dec 1996, p.5G]