[Screen It]


(1996) (Sylvester Stallone, Amy Brenneman) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
None Moderate Moderate Heavy *Minor
Moderate Minor Mild None Moderate
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Minor Minor None Minor Moderate

Action/Adventure: A former emergency medical technician risks his life to save others who are trapped inside a collapsed tunnel.
A stolen car crashes into several trucks carrying toxic materials in the underwater tunnel between New York and New Jersey. The resulting explosion kills many people and traps others inside the tunnel as it collapses on both ends. Trapped inside is Madelyne Thompson (AMY BRENNEMAN), an aspiring playwright, George Tyrell (STAN SHAW), a transit guard, and several others. The former chief of the EMT (emergency medical technicians), Kit Latura (SYLVESTER STALLONE), just happens to be on the scene and begins his rescue efforts. Making his way into the tunnel via a conduit he can't return through, he sets out to rescue the trapped people. As the air begins to run out and flood waters enter the tunnel, Kit does everything he can to lead the people to daylight.
If they're fans of Stallone or disaster films, they might.
For disaster-related peril, death and destruction.
  • SYLVESTER STALLONE plays a former medical technician who risks life and limb to save a group of trapped people. Although his character isn't developed, one could say he's a good role model.
  • THE REST OF THE CAST play trapped victims who react to the stress and terror of the event as one would expect. Like Stallone's character, they are rather two dimensional as well.


    OUR TAKE: 3 out of 10
    In this throw back to the Irwin Allen disaster films of the 1970's, Sly Stallone gets to flex his muscles again, but certainly not his acting skills. This rather ho-hum rip off of "The Poseidon Adventure" has a huge problem that limits how enjoyable this film can be. Unlike in "The Poseidon Adventure," where the survivors made their way from level to level in an upside down ship, this movie has for the most part just one locale: The tunnel. And there's only so much one can do in one tunnel to keep the suspense level up and the boredom factor down. The movie has a decent set-up and the explosion and collapse scenes are first-rate. But once the situation is established, the boredom quickly sets in and in one scene, Stallone just sits there while the screenwriters must have been trying to come up with an idea for him to use to get everyone out. The acting's rather stiff and the plot details are occasionally forgotten as the characters sometimes worry about hypothermia from the cold water and other times stay in it for long periods without even shivering. There's a minor subplot dealing with Kit having been fired from his previous position, but it's rather useless as it doesn't provide any revelations or character development. If you've never seen one of the tacky, but fun 70's disaster films or their recent "Die Hard" cousins, you might find this to be an edge of your seat thriller. Everyone else, however, will be waiting to see the daylight coming from the exit doors on the way out of the theater. We give this one a weak 3 out of 10.
    There isn't a great deal to object to in this film. The worst of the profanity is 12 "s" words with an assortment of others and there's no drinking and very little smoking. Younger kids might find many of the scenes to be rather tense, but older kids probably won't be too affected by them. Violence is pretty much limited to what the explosion and collapse bring about, and there are several shots of dead and charred bodies that might scare some kids. If your children want to see this film, we suggest that you read the category listings before allowing them to do so.

  • None.
  • Several bodies are seen after the initial explosion and some of them are rather charred. Others who are injured are a little bloody and one man is seen with a good amount of blood running down his face. Another man outside the tunnel has a badly cut leg that's rather bloody.
  • A man is seen paying a worker to illegally dispose of toxic materials in New Jersey.
  • Some guys on the street "catcall" at Madelyne and then call her "bitch" when she hurries away.
  • A guy talking on Madelyne's answering machine asks her for three more months with her, but is then interrupted by his wife, implying that he is having an affair with Madelyne.
  • Some prisoners talk to each other about why they're in prison. One says he robbed a place with a gun, while another says he sold stolen cellular phone numbers.
  • Several men pull a jeweler from his car, hit him, cut the handcuffs between his wrist and his briefcase, and then steal his car.
  • Some of the survivors yell at Kit due to the stress they're under, but eventually all of them come around to helping him and the others.
  • The explosion in and collapse of the tunnel may be seen by some viewers as tense.
  • The rest of the movie is one peril scene after another as the people try to get out of the tunnel.
  • Madelyne helps prisoners out of their overturned bus while gasoline pours from it and an electrical cable swings dangerously close. She then grabs a hold of the cable with her rubber boots to let the others out.
  • Kit enters the tunnel by crawling through large, momentarily turned off fan blades. They begin coming back on as he barely makes it through one just to get to another as it begins to come on.
  • George falls and gets trapped under a truck while the water rises all around him. The others try to get him out as the water covers his head and he has to breathe through a hose to survive.
  • The people get to a room only to find moments later that a bunch of rats have joined them. For those who don't like rats, this will be a tense scene, but for others it probably won't.
  • There are more explosions and the threat and reality of rising waters. The people also have to swim underwater to get to higher ground.
  • A prisoner admits that he robbed a place with a gun (not seen).
  • Phrases: "Bitch," "Sucks," "Jerk," "Crack sucking ass," and "Shut up."
  • A cab driver gives "the finger" to the drivers of a stolen car who are trying to get around him.
  • Unbeknownst to anyone else, Kit hops onto the back of a truck and rides down into the tunnel.
  • Madelyne takes off her rubber soled boots and grabs a hold of a sparking electrical cable to let others make it to safety. Kids might get the wrong idea about electricity from this since she escapes unharmed.
  • To her surprise, Madelyne finds a rat in her dresser drawer.
  • There is a mild amount of suspenseful music with the rest falling into the action category.
  • None.
  • 12 "s" words, 12 hells, 3 "ass" words, 1 damn, and 5 uses each of "God damn" and "Oh my God," 4 uses of "Oh God," 3 uses of "Jesus," and 2 uses each of "Christ" and "Jesus Christ" as exclamations.
  • George tells his girlfriend over a walkie talkie that he found her bracelet under his bed, implying that she spent the night with him.
  • A guy talking on Madelyne's answering machine asks her for three more months with her, but is then interrupted by his wife, implying that he is having an affair with Madelyne.
  • A tunnel management worker smokes a cigarette.
  • An emergency medical technician smokes a cigar.
  • None.
  • The safety of tunnels.
  • How to react in an emergency situation.
  • To her surprise, Madelyne finds a rat in her dresser drawer and then tries to kill it by jabbing a metal rod at it.
  • Several men pull a jeweler from his car, hit him, cut the handcuffs between his wrist and his briefcase, and then steal his car.
  • The men in the stolen car then race through traffic and into the tunnel where they run into cars and run others into the walls. They finally lose control of the car that then becomes airborne, smashes through a lookout post and then crashes into trucks carrying toxic materials.
  • Those trucks explode and a huge fireball races through the tunnel, incinerating both vehicles and the people inside them. Parts of the tunnel then collapse and kill or injure many other people. A man is seen on fire as he runs from the tunnel.
  • One of the prisoners grabs Kit around the throat, saying that he's in charge. George grabs the man and frees Kit.
  • An adventurous executive is crushed by falling debris and another man is blasted back against the tunnel wall receiving fatal wounds.
  • Several other people die (one from a broken neck and another from hypothermia) as the group makes their way out.

  • Reviewed December 6, 1996

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