Capitol Policeman John Cale (Channing Tatum) has 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 complex is overtaken by a heavily armed paramilitary group. Now, ...more
Capitol Policeman John Cale (Channing Tatum) has 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 complex is overtaken by a heavily armed paramilitary group. Now, with the nation’s government falling into chaos and time running out, it's up to Cale to save the president, his daughter, and the country. less
“While the chemistry between the actors clicks, White House Down is a formulaic action film with inconsistent pacing. Skip it.”
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A double whammy from Hollywood this year culminates in the second ‘Die Hard in the White House’ movie of the year in Roland Emmerich’s ‘White House Down’. The Gerard Butler starrer ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ turned out to be an unexpected sleeper hit earlier in the year and while by no means is that a good movie it atleast had more bang for your buck than this overblown travesty. Borrowing elements from every 80s and 90s action flick right from ‘Die Hard’ to ‘48 Hours’ to even ‘The Rock’; it’s an unsatisfying ride all the way through.
John Cale (Channing Tatum) takes his daughter, Emily (Joey King), along for an interview he’s giving at the White House. When he’s rejected for by the Secret Service for Presdient Sawyer’s (Jamie Foxx) security detail, John instead takes Emily on a tour of the White House. Tragedy strikes soon as home-grown terrorists led by ex-special forces soldier, Stenx (Jason Clarke) blow up the Capitol Hill building and take control of the White House. Cale rises to the occasion and teams up with the President to save the day.
While ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ had its intermittent lapses in logic, it was still an exciting and taut action movie that keep things moving at a brisk pace, right from the takeover of the White House to the lone wolf battling the terrorists in “the most guarded building in the world”. White House down on the other hand throws everything into the bender hoping something clicks. There are glorious looking explosions, low flying helicopters, huge guns, hackers and double crosses galore but none of it amounts to an iota of excitement. Unlike Olympus Has Fallen’s brutal takedowns of the terrorists by Gerard Butler, here everything needs to be interspaced with a joke or two and most of the gunfights result in destroyed furniture and walls rather than dead terrorists. If I wanted two hours of shootouts resulting in destroyed walls, I’d rather watch the pre-climatic showdown in the Matrix again.
The pacing too lets down the movie with things moving far too slow in the first hour and then trying to up the ante by cramming in every possible action element in the last forty five minutes or so. Plus when you have a scene as ridiculous as the presidential Limousine being driven around the White House lawn being chased by SUVs sporting gattling guns, you know something’s way off. And don’t even get me started on the flag waving scene in the end to ward off incoming jets.
Channing Tatum might look pretty but he’s no action hero and though his onscreen name might be two words away from John McLane, simply running around in your white vest doesn’t render you to Mr. Willis. Jamie Foxx tries too hard to be Obama and comes across instead as a stumbling buffoon. Gyllenhaal and Jason Clarke, both good actors otherwise are wasted in poorly written roles. The only bright spot in the cast is James Woods in a role that has oddly very similar intentions as the one of Ed Harris in ‘The Rock’.
‘White House Down’ is a letdown and considering the director behind the movie and the budget, it’s sad to see it all go waste in what could have been a perfect popcorn entertainer.