Friday, June 14, 2013

Review: White House Down

Release date: June 28, 2013
Running time: 137 minutes
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhall, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins
Who to see it with: Patriots


White House Down is the year's second, and superior, action film set at the President's official residence. Tatum plays John Cale, a US Capitol Police Officer who chose the wrong day to take a White House tour. He and his distant daughter happen to be there when mercenaries take over in search of the Commander-in-Chief (Foxx).

Both WHD and Olympus Has Fallen resemble the somewhat inspired idea of "Die Hard at the White House". They're both cliched and ridiculous, but WHD is better executed. OHF kept a fairly serious tone that sometimes bored me, but here director Roland Emmerich depicts terrorism in the same over-the-top, light manner found in his doomsday movies Independence Day and 2012. That means there's numerous funny, and often corny, one liners spouted in the midst of crisis. President Sawyer will be many's favorite character. He is, by far, the wittiest person in the film, and is believably awkward when caught up in the action. The movie is best when pairing tough Tatum with clumsy, earnest Foxx. It feels routine when they're apart, though characters like a dorky tour guide bring laughs and numerous plot twists maintain interest in the villains.

WHD has a noticeably higher budget and is slightly less graphic than R-rated OHF. There are lots of explosions and computer-aided flying shots throughout the film. Unfortunately, the special effects have an obvious, animated look. Washingtonians will be humored by a brief shot of a recognizable Chinatown intersection. White House Down offers nothing you haven't seen before, but the likable team of Tatum and Foxx raise it above other routine action films.

Rent it.


I'm going to have to disagree a little with Lee here. I didn't think the movie was amazing but I appreciated it for what it was, a fun and slightly dumb summer action movie. Sure the plot didn't exactly make sense and the hacker guy was really annoying, but I definitely enjoyed it. There was heavy use of CG but for some summer movies, I can forgive that. I really liked the Tatum and Foxx pair; I thought they had a really good dynamic and were fun to watch. I also thought the action and the sound effects might merit a trip to the theater. Plus, as an added bonus, there are plenty of guns--both on Tatum's arms and in his hands--that are best experienced on the big screen with premium sound. And, similar to what happened in Fast 6, there is a certain appeal to seeing a cheesy summer movie with an audience that is cheering along with the heroes. Although I ultimately agree that it is a rental, I still think it's very close to a see it. If you like Tatum and Foxx (and really, who doesn't love them) and go in with the right mindset, then this is a great summer flick to see in theaters.

No comments:

Post a Comment