An ambitious, paranoid-liberal melodrama set in the near future, Daybreak presents an America overrun by fascism inspired by a nameless, AIDS-like disease. Public policy is to quarantine the infected, which has given rise to semiofficial gangs of vigilante youths who imprison or kill anyone they suspect has the disease. A resistance movement that includes our hero, played by Boyz N the Hood's Cuba Gooding Jr., tries to help the afflicted escape the clutches of these goons.
In a Romeo and Juliet twist, Gooding falls in love with the sister of one of the fascist leaders; she's played by Moira Kelly (Chaplin). Adapted and directed by Stephen Tolkin from Alan Bowne's play, Beirut, Daybreak is something of a mess part action flick, part romance (Gooding and Kelly are hot together), part apocalyptic fable but it's an engrossing mess and features alert acting from Parenthood's Martha Plimpton as Kelly's traitorous best friend. B