If you came here looking for the mediocre, 1996 Sly Stallone movie of the same name, this isn’t it. What this is, according to the log line, is this: “A harrowing psychological thriller from a widely acclaimed filmmaker, Daylight pits a couple lost in America against a conniving gang of kidnappers, in David Barker’s rigorous and personal re-imagining of the genre film.” More thoughts on that below. Since I watched this streaming, I can’t make my own screen grabs and there’s slim pickins on the web…. (since I know everyone comes here for the images) : )
A very pregnant Swiss woman and her is-he-a-dick-or-not Swiss husband are driving their very expensive Maserati down a tree lined road in what we are told is America. They come to an intersection and can’t decide to turn left or right – so I guess they are lost. After making a decision, they head down another tree lined road and pass a hitchhiker. They stop to ask him directions and reluctantly let him in the car – before they pass another hitchhiker farther down the road. Hitchhiker 1 pulls out a knife, puts it to the wife’s throat and tells them to go pick up his buddy. Hitchhiker 2 pulls out a gun and commandeers the car, but he can’t drive a stick, so the husband has to drive to this quaint, horsey and ducky wallpapered, two story house in the middle of nowhere that doesn’t even have a driveway.
There, the wife is taken hostage and the husband is almost killed, but he promises them a lot of money if they let him live. One of the toughs, a fellow called Murph, takes the husband into town and leaves the wife with the other two goons for what I guess is the “harrowing psychological thriller”. That queues up the rest of the movie where we get a lot of talking, a lot of slow motion horsing around by the two thugs, some fighting, a weak escape attempt a lot of waiting for Murph to come back with the loot and some light philosophy thrown into the mix. Even though this is a short 75 minute flick, when the end finally came after, well, 45 certainly-not-exciting-but-I-guess-not-boring minutes, I felt like, “Ok, well that’s done, what else is there to do?”
I thought Daylight was a very realistic, believable movie. I thought the cast of five all did a really good job with their oral and physical techniques, especially the guy who played “Leo” – Ivan Martin. He reminded me of Vince Vaughn back when Vince Vaughn made movies like THE CELL or CLAY PIGEONS. I liked the fight scenes, I liked the plot, I liked the quality and I even liked the dialogue. What I didn’t like was the boring middle third so here’s a nice run on sentence, complete with spoilers: when the older couple show up at the house asking for the owners, we realize that the owners must be those bodies in the cellar, so why are the three thugs here in the first place and why did they kill these people and why were they out posing as hitchhikers on this untraveled road; were they hoping to kidnap someone and kill em and eat em or did they expect some rich Swiss couple to come rolling along in their expensive Italian sports car because that’s what happens in this part of small town America and that was the whole plan all along??? What if it was my friend Scrotey who doesn’t have a zillion dollars to his name??? What would they do then? You know what would have been cool: what if it was the pickup that those killers from THE STRANGERS were driving off in at the end of that movie? These three killers from DAYLIGHT could face off with the three killers from THE STRANGERS – that would have been a much better movie. SHAZAM!!