White House Down

Capitol policeman John Cale has served his country in the military, completed three tours in Afganistan, and earned the Silver Star.  Currently guarding the Speaker of the House, Cale wants to work for the United States Secret Service and help protect President James Sawyer.  An unlikely candidate, Cale is denied his dream job.  Not wanting to disappoint his daughter who loves everything about the president and the United States government with the news of his denial, he arranges to take his daughter Emily on a White House tour.  While touring 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue a paramilitary group takes over the complex with the goal of capturing the President of the United States and forcing him to go their bidding.  Now Cale has to try to save the country, the president, and his daughter from the unknown terrorists who seem willing to kill anyone who gets in the way of their goal.

Roland Emmerich, who directed other movies like 2012 and Independence Day directed White House Down.  Known for his use of large action sequences and plenty of CGI, Emmerich does not disappoint the action lover in this film.  Full of stuff blowing up, White House Down is an action lover’s dream come true.  But a movie cannot rely completely on action to be a good movie, there has to be other aspects like a good script and character development.  Here is where White House Down falls short in making it an amazing blockbuster movie.   The script is simple enough with just the right mixture of suspense with comedy.  There are lots of great one liners in this movie.  A little better job is done is developing the characters.  You honestly do care about most of them and what is going on in their lives.  It seems like this is the year that Hollywood tried its hand at capturing the White House with two movies released in very close proximity of each other.  Naturally there will be comparisons between Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down.  The Gerard Butler fueled flick may have had a more plausible plan for how someone could actually take down the most guarded house in the world.  Where the Channing Tatum version is way more entertaining a movie.  Both are worth a look to see the similarities and differences.

Channing Tatum and Jaime Foxx both do an excellent job in this film showing that they can both handle the big bangs and booms.  A little wasted in this picture is Maggie Gyllenhaal who plays Special Agent Finnerty.  She is a great actress but never gets a real chance to show her stuff.  James Woods makes a noble attempt at his part, but if I tell you much more about his character I will spoil the plot.  Kudos should be given to Jason Clarke who plays the leader of the paramilitary group Emil Stenz, who has a big beef with the president.  He is from Australia and is turning into a great character actor with his ability to do a flawless American accent.  You may remember him from such movies as Zero Dark Thirty and Lawless. White House Down is definitely worth the price of admission, not being a 3D movie.  I am glad that I got a chance to see in the theaters.  If you love to see things blow up and fisticuffs break out between the good guys and the bad, then this movie is right up your alley.  The action may be top notch, but it is lacking in a few of the other departments.  Go into the theater without any ridiculous expectations and you should have an entertaining couple of hours.

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