Bomb Rating: 

Given what Sylvester Stallone is capable of doing to the English language,it's a miracle he hasn't been relegated to the back of New York deli somewhere to spend the rest of his days slicing salamis. The ultimate role for the guy is probably a mute superhero -- I can see the marketing line now: "He can't talk, but boy can he kick ass."

So when is Hollywood going to figure out that audiences don't want to endure the torture of listening to the guy speak? Whether it's "I've discovered the weight of a neutrino with my superconducting supercollider!" or "You want pickles on that, sweet-cakes?" nothing will ever sound elegant coming out of Sly's mouth. Despite this, you need only imagine everybody talking exactly the same way to know what it feels like to sit through "Daylight."

Stallone's slurring is mitigated only by the fact that screenwriter Leslie Boehm's dialogue is so bad that it serves as a welcome distraction. The characters regularly say things so inane you'll stand up to see if you're sitting on a tack. Give this screenwriter his due -- it takes talent to write dialogue that actively produces pain.

Director Rob Cohen does such a thorough job of introducing all the characters early in the film that you're tempted to yell, "Blow up the damn tunnel already!" (as several people at my screening did). How hard would it be to include some character development after the tunnel has collapsed? Instead Cohen outlines each character as if he's composing bios on the back of baseball cards: "Female. 5'5". Playwright. Hates New York. Tough but feminine. Throws left. Bats right." That is the story, BTW: There's an accident in the tunnel connecting New Jersey and Manhattan and it collapses. People are trapped and they're going to die -- that is, unless some guy out of nowhere with a checkered past and and speech impediment just happens to arrive to save them.

Granted, this is no character movie -- it's a special effects film. However, the more interesting effects involve a dozen or so people standing around in waist-deep water. How the magicians at ILM ever came up with that waist-deep water concept I'll never know. It was truly astounding. Sure, there are some explosions and some underwater shots, but they're easy to miss given that by the time they occur, the audience is already doubled over with laughter at the idiotic dialogue.

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