Movie Review: White House Down
Prinz Lee wrote this review 3 years and 10 months ago
Ok, well…umm…didn’t we see this already? Yes, I believe we did. It goes by the title of “Olympus Has Fallen.” Sure there’s a different cast, form of antagonists, and a bit more humorous, but “White House Down” isn’t really presenting anything original.
The film follows Capitol Policeman John Cale (Channing Tatum). A man whose just been denied his dream job with the Secret Service of protecting President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx). Not wanting to let down his little girl with the news, he takes her on a tour of the White House, when the world’s most protected building is overtaken by a heavily armed paramilitary group. Now, with the nation's government falling into chaos, time’s running out, with surprising matters leaving it up to Cale to save the president, his daughter, and most of all…the country.
In its narrative twist, it was one of a few elements within the script I enjoyed. Sure, predictable to the core, but it was about time cliché was shoved away and leveled more to another possibility most may cringe at. While “Olympus” gave us the usual evil (North Korean) empire, “White House Down” goes domestic with a posse of radical right-wingers, racist zealots, hackers, and fucked-up soldiers.
Covering what seemed to be one of the most detailed, cinematic blue-prints of the White House, this twisted group of “freedom fighters” go toe-to-toe with the likes of whatever active government is left courtesy of the siege, as well as a pretty determined, straight-forward, aggressive Channing Tatum. This is actually where most of the fun lies considering some plot cracks. Although common to “Die Hard” and “Olympus Has Fallen,” Tatum is fun and entertaining to watch. He also left somewhat of a mark for me where it’s possible for him to be an action hero. The dude’s a bit stiff, but there’s an it factor he oozes that can land him on that same list of Bruce Willis, or Gerard Butler. Yes, big shoes to fill, but Channing Tatum is a bad-ass in his own right.
While shooting, dodging bullets, and yelling, Tatum also runs around with Foxx. When these two run together, the action for some reason stops and turns into humor – much where I felt the film loses its intensity and purpose. I guess with all the bullshit going on, one has to detach their brain and just go along. It’s pretty hard for me to believe there would be humor during a White House siege, but if that’s what director Roland Emmerich (a man who cinematically thrives on blowing up famous American landmarks) and writer James Vanderbilt feel, so be it.
It isn’t a slow movie as it gets right into it, but with a concept where our nation is under attack, there’s more I think can be added in terms of emotional drive. The film’s first teaser left a hard impression. Once the second and third trailers were released, the action-based-goofiness really dropped its stock price.
Overall, it isn’t a bad film. There’s plenty to chew on and enjoy, but for a piece that embarks on the destruction of America…it didn’t take itself too seriously.