From the director of Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012 comes a movie where Channing Tatum has to team up with the president to stop terrorists from destroying the White House. Jamie Foxx plays President James Sawyer, the most badass president of all time. I mean, he fires a rocket launcher, can you get more badass? Also Channing Tatum is a man caught up in a situation he didn’t anticipate, but must rise to the occasion. Plus guns and explosions. White House Down should have been another disposable summer action movie, but something strange happened.
I wouldn’t call myself a Roland Emmerich fan, while I had fun with Independence Day and a few others, 10,000 BC and 2012 were not good, particular the latter. It seemed as if Roland Emmerich had lost touch with what made people actually like his big dumb spectacle movie. White House Down proves that completely wrong. It can’t make up for how bad 2012 was, but it can certainly stand untainted and prove that it’s the winner of this round of the identical movies of 2013.
White House Down is essentially Die Hard in the White House. While I would usually call that a bad thing and even though nothing can tarnish the original, the Die Hard franchise was essentially ruined with A Good Day To Die Hard. But you can’t just take Die Hard and do that again in a new location. You also can’t do a Roland Emmerich movie with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx and have it be a serious action thriller. So you take these elements and inject them with so much adrenaline and over the top but enjoyable moments that any faults can be forgiven in the name of fun.
There are few movies, regardless of how good they are, that I can walk out of and feel fantastic and energized. The Fast & Furious movies usually do it and as fun as Fast & Furious 6 was, White House Down bested it. I have a pretty hard time getting people into the Fast & Furious movies, mostly due to the subject matter, but I don’t see that with White House Down, a movie about defending America from vindictive assholes where the president takes charge and defends his country personally.
This is a movie about defending America from dissenting opinions and choosing to do what is right over what feels good, which is unusual considering the type of demographic these movies. Perhaps I haven’t emphasized just how patriotic White House Down is. The opening is essentially a history lesson into the White House and some of its priceless antiques. It all culminates in one of the most ridiculous finales/aversions to disaster that screams America, but was still properly seeded earlier in the film. Such meticulous care was taken to deliver a bombastic summer thrill ride that you can’t help but appreciate it.
I went into White House Down expecting a big dumb, summer action movie and in a sense, that is exactly what I got. What I wasn’t expecting was to be completely blown away by the sheer spectacle and overwhelming absurdity of the movie. White House Down is the perfect American action movie. It oozes this ridiculous sense of patriotism and even though the action is completely unrealistic, it obeys its own rules. This is a movie that knows the cliches and obnoxious elements of action movies, but creates such a spectacle out of them you can’t help but smile and laugh along with the insanity.
In Theaters: June 28, 2013
Runtime: 131 min
Rating: Rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence including intense gunfire and explosions, some language and a brief sexual image.
Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Official Site: http://www.whitehousedown.com/site/