Action got apocalyptic in the mid-’90s. Advances in special effects revived the disaster genre of the ’70s, resulting in the box office hit that was Armageddon and any number of big-budgeted imitators. Some of the latter were good (Deep Impact), but most were lame (Volcano, Dante’s Peak, The Core). And then there was 1996’s Daylight, which found firefighter Sylvester Stallone leading a cast of character actors through New York City’s Holland Tunnel after an explosion sealed off all the exits. It bombed in the U.S. and has since dropped off the cultural radar, but the gang at GoodBadFlicks is hoping to repair that reputation.
In this nine-minute analysis, GoodBadFlicks unloads a treasure trove of trivia and making-of info, with highlights including the almost-casting of Nicolas Cage, Stallone’s fear of water, and the use of 2,000 trained rats. That latter detail points to what’s perhaps most impressive about the film, which was the use of practical effects to create a full-scale model of the Holland Tunnel, as well as an explosion that, to this day, stands out for its overwhelming realism. The film was also intensely personal for director Rob Cohen, who saw it as a means to thank the firefighter who saved his life years earlier.
GoodBadFlicks also praises the film itself for its action, effects, and for having “one of [Stallone’s] most humble performances.” Also, the dog lives, so it’s got that going for it.