HOLLYWOOD—“White House Down” is a movie that tackles the issue of the U.S. government and the President under siege. Does that sound familiar? Of course it does because a picture with a similar premise, “Olympus Has Fallen” hit theaters a mere 3 months ago. That movie starred Gerald Butler as the hero and Morgan Freeman as the President.
In “White House Down” the hero is played by heartthrob Channing Tatum and funnyman Jamie Foxx holds the title of President. Now that we’ve gotten over the similarities between the two pictures, let’s talk why “White House Down” excels. For starters, Tatum plays the role of John Cale, U.S. Capitol Police Officer, with impeccable precision. He’s charming, he’s confident, he’s a family guy and he wants to prove something to himself and the rest of the world: he should be a member of the Secret Service.
There are a few obstacles standing in his way. For starters, he has a daughter (Joey King) who idolizes her father, Carol Finnerty (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a Secret Service agent who measures Cale competence to complete direct task and he also has his ex-wife Melanie (Rachelle Lefevre) who continues to stay on his case. When the White House is under attack by mercenary Emil Stenz (Jason Clarke) it’s an all out battle to protect the President and to ensure the nation endures.
When it comes to action, this movie delivers on all fronts. That is likely thanks to director Roland Emmerich who is known for blockbuster action-flicks like “Independence Day,” “Godzilla,” “The Day After Tomorrow” and “2012.” Some have pegged the director as the king of disaster films and he’s quite good at it. The tone of the picture is a bit dark for a PG-13 flick and dire at times, but there are light-hearted comedic moments between the films two leads Tatum and Foxx.
Its one of those pictures where the audience may question just how can one guy save the world from extinction? It doesn’t always seem plausible, but it makes sense, because as we all know one person can make a difference, and John Cale is that person.
The script written by James Venderbilt has a pace that is quite frenetic; its tense and it keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish, which is somewhat difficult to do with action flicks as the explosions and gunfire come in intervals, but not here. There is always something exploding, someone being shot at or stunts galore that will leave people talking well after the picture has ended. “White House Down” in my opinion is silly at times, but is the perfect flick to kick-off the summer.
By LaDale Anderson