This could have been a pretty good little disaster movie, considering it has the premise of a group of subway passengers trapped following a big earthquake. It was almost an updated Short Walk to Daylight which would have been better.
At the beginning, some employees are getting ready ship off cannisters of toxic waste from one of the underground storage facilities within the subway system. Following an accident, Deputy Mayor John Ellis (Ken Olandt) is woken up and told of what's happened. He's not happy.
Maintenance Scheduler for the City Transit Authority, Dillon Johansen (Ted McGinley) has just spent some time playing hockey and when he gets home, his mail holds overdue bills and his car is repossessed and hitches a ride with the driver so that he can get to work.
High school student Newton (Adam Wylie) is surprised when his teacher Mr. White (Marc McClure) shows up and when his mother (Anne Lockhart) asks what's going on, she learns that Newton won't compete in a competition for gifted students. So, he runs away.
In a support group, Savanna (Ursula Brooks) relives an attack and Suzy (Jaime Bergman) has gotten her boyfriend Griffin (Mark Kiely) out of jail on bond. He's furious that she sold his car in order to come up with the bail money, so now they have to take the subway.
As all of the subway victims wait on the platform for their train, Dillon's co-worker Herman (Pepe Serna) is working on something in the tunnel when a major earthquake rocks the region trapping him under the rubble.
He radios Dillon and when Dillon gets to him, the area is hit again with an aftershock as the tunnel collapses, this time killing Herman.
During the initial earthquake, the train cars separated leaving Suzy, Griffin, Savannah and Newton trapped and while Savannah freaks out after being rescued by Griffin, she finds a door but can't get it open. She takes off and runs into Dillon.
He's able to raise his boss, Stan Marshall (Roy Scheider) and give him the details.
Savannah goes on a rant about the city and politics and seems to blame everything on Dillon, while Griffin basically does the same. He tells Dillon that he looks familiar and then realizes that Dillon is a former hockey player, who watched his young son die in a car fire following an accident. The two start fighting (one of many) and following another aftershock a watermain breaks and the survivors are chased by the incoming water.
When they think they're somewhat safe, Dillon gives a progress report to Stan and begs that he turn off the electricity since they can't make it through one part of the tunnel. Newton comes up with an idea and they manage to make it through yet again.
Following yet another aftershock, Newton is severely injured and after passing out, Savannah, who's a nurse is able to fix him up. Griffin tells the group he's leaving and demands that Suzy come along.
Topside, Stan learns that the deputy mayor has been involved in some shady shenanigans regarding the waste removal and he's being blackmailed into getting the shipment up to Nevada.
The survivors make it into the storage area with the waste and another aftershock collapses some of the ground and a roaring fire starts, trapping Newton on the other side of the hole. Dillon rescues him and comes up with a plan to protect themselves from the oncoming explosion.
Who lives? Who dies? Well, with five people trapped below ground and continuous damaging aftershocks, some won't make it.
The story does start out pretty good when it comes to the earthquake and the CGI destruction is pretty good and since the movie takes place at night, any flaws could have been darkened out and it was good to see periodically the aftershocks and more destruction.
But on the flipside, when the topside characters are shown, their offices and surrounding area doesn't seem to be touched by the quakes. And when the train car catches on fire, they don't panic, and everyone's calmly standing by the car.
However, there are things that do make you scratch your head, but you know that a relationship will form by the end of the movie