By Gregory Quinn, Special to the Port Authority
Here’s a story only Hollywood could conjure: An upstate waste management company looking to illegally dispose of its toxins enters the Holland Tunnel at the same time as a struggling playwright, a mountain-climbing enthusiast and a group of diamond thieves on the run from the NYPD. Naturally, tragedy ensues, the tunnel is closed off, and only Sly Stallone (naturally) can come to the rescue.
We are talking of course of the 1996 critical flop, Daylight. We never said every movie featuring beloved Port Authority infrastucture was going to be a masterpiece. The late film critic Roger Ebert said, “Daylight is the cinematic equivalent of a golden oldies station, where you never encounter anything you haven’t grown to love over the years. At one point when a trapped civilian asks [Stallone] if they have a chance, I expected him to say, calm down lady. I’ve done this in a dozen other movies.”
No disrespect to Rocky and his typically stoic performance, but the real star of this movie is the Holland Tunnel, which serves as both backdrop and antagonist, its darkened, foreboding interior presenting a fearsome foe for Stallone and his roving band of survivors. And while the plot of the movie is about as believable as a traffic-free NYC commute, there’s some old-fashioned escapist fun to be had in Daylight.