Tunnel visionary

Some of you may be aware, most of you probably not, but the trailer for Alex Cross was just released. It’s a bit of a bizarre looking film, with Matthew Fox (from Lost) playing a sadistic serial torture-killer, and Tyler Perry playing the detective hunting him. Wait, what? Tyler Perry?

This Tyler Perry?

And Matthew Fox, everyone’s favourite cast-away hero doctor from the world’s worst television show is now playing a man who likes to chop up women alive and watch them suffer? If you get a chance to check out the trailer, do, it looks like the film might actually be alright. For now though, join me in a big “what the hell?” as we tremble before the fact that…

Ok, to be  honest, there is one even more important reason why I’m curiously interested in this project. It’s the director; Rob Cohen.

Rob Cohen may be an obscure name to some of you, but he’s a fairly accomplished director. His movies include The Fast and the Furious, XXX, and Stealth, so you can tell what his genre preference is. He also directed Dragonheart, but I’ll be recommending that separately some other time.

What I’m here to recommend to you today is my favourite Rob Cohen film of all time, and that is of course Daylight.

It’s interesting, because both both Daylight and Dragonheart almost made it onto my Top Ten Guilty Pleasure Movies list. However, I think both of them are actually good films, and not ones where I’m willing to admit too much fault. I mean, I love Daylight. It’s 90’s action at it’s most boisterous, but what does the plot entail?

“Disaster strikes in a New York tunnel when an explosion collapses both ends of it. One hero tries to help the people inside find their way to safety.”

– IMDB

Aaahh IMDB, what would I do without you? I sure do love to quote ‘the database’. Meh, why bother complicating things? K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Shithead!

Yeah, this is a disaster movie. So what? There are plenty of great disaster movies, like The Towering Inferno, The Poseidon Adventure, Independence Day, The Perfect Storm, Twister, Alive, Deep Impact, and yes…even Titanic, just to name a few. Daylight is up there with the best of them for sure. It’s a simple idea with a lot of potential, all of which is utilised. The film continues to introduce new elements all the time, keeping the audience and the characters equally stressed. The effects are great, especially for 1996, and the soundtrack rocks. Randy Edelman certainly knows how to crank up the action and the drama at the same time all within one musical theme. Oh, and did I mention that this is Sylvester Stallone’s best performance ever? Yes, better than in Rocky.

Yeah Sly, it is! Stallone gets a lot of criticism for being some sort of bodybuilder turned wannabe-actor. He’s typecast as an action star with very limited dramatic range, but that’s fine with me if it leads to more movies like this. One thing you’ll be glad to hear is that Stallone doesn’t take his shirt off once in the whole movie. Alright, so that doesn’t immediately make it Oscar material, but it does put it a notch above things like Cliffhanger.

Chillax, I like Cliffhanger too, it’s just not as good as Daylight. Stallone plays a much more believable character here and also portrays him in a much more believable way. Amy Brenneman is a lovely antithesis to Sly’s expert knowledge. His hardships have a profound effect on her and changes her perspective on life drastically. Every character, in fact, changes throughout the film. This is what disaster films are supposed to do; destroy the external while enforcing and purifying the internal. Daylight doesn’t fail. It’s both a fun popcorn adventure and a harrowing survival drama. If you feel like a treat at the end of your week, Daylight will bring you to the depths of despair and all the way back up to the uplifting pinnacle of human determination. Get it, watch it, live it, love it. Rob Cohen, Sir, this will forever be your masterpiece.

Daylight (1996) trailer

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