A neat 1996 NYC
mini-disaster movie starring Sylvester Stallone
Stallone plays "Kit Latura," a cab driver. Besides him, there are a bunch of other characters, each with their own plot. One's an elderly couple, another is a single woman, one's a rock-climber, another is a bus full of convicts. Each one is heading into or out of New York, but they're all taking the Holland Tunnel that runs Manhattan to New Jersey.
Meanwhile, a convoy of trucks carrying nuclear waste is also driving through from New Jersey. They're taking the tunnel too. As fate would have it, a traffic accident occurs in the tunnel, rupturing the radiation containers. As a result, a huge fireball erupts in the tunnel, causing both entrances to collapse.
Now all the drivers who survived the explosion are trapped. Stallone, witnessing this happen just before he enters the tunnel, runs out of his cab into action. Who knew he had EMT training? He immediately hotfoots it over to the city's Transit Authority to see what he can do.
He's persona non grata over there. From the dialogues, he was a former employee, who specialized in Terrorism scenarios in 1994, until he was fired. Only he knows how this tunnel works, the ways in and out, and especially how to save the people. He engineers a bold rescue attempt to enter the tunnel and see if he can get them out alive.
I really enjoyed this movie. The movie spends time building up many of the characters, though not enough for Stallone. You get to identify with them, and watch as Stallone pulls off some smart ideas to get in, and figures out a way to get everybody out. He keeps promising that he's not going to leave anybody behind, and all the characters who hate one another have to work together. I gotta say that this is one of those movies that really kept me on the edge of my seat, with tension building just like Apollo 13. There wasn't guns, but there was danger at every turn, and few stunts.
Now the bad parts to the movie, the parts The Filthy Critic would have hated. First, they didn't devote much time to developing Stallone's character, even though he's one of the main ones. You're supposed to learn his whole past by what his co-workers say about him. Second, there were predictable enemies, and characters fighting each other in times of stress. When I say enemies, I mean Stallone's "stupid" bosses who assume everyone died, and as a result put the survivors in jeopardy. Aside from that, the movie was pretty good.
Stallone said in an interview that "It was the hardest movie in my entire career." I believe he did his own stunts. There was one where an oil tanker truck was rolling toward him, and he's running away while saving a girl. That stunt was real, the cables snapped, so he really was running. Plus, he ran over to pull the girl out of the way; heroic.
I believe it wasn't a box office success. It cost $80million to produce, got $10million opening weekend, and settled at $32.8million a few months later.
Directed by Rob Cohen, who also made The Running Man with Arnold Schwarzenneger
Written by Leslie Bohem