Roland Emmerich’s latest action flick, “White House Down” gives viewers more of the same in a very predictable yet sometimes enjoyable experience. It seems to be a bit of a combination of “Die Hard” and “Independence Day” and takes place during an attack on the White House, while the president fears for his life trying to survive throughout the film. In addition to these two films, it feels much like the other film released just months ago, “Olympus Has Fallen,” in which the former president is trapped inside the white house and uses his inside knowledge in order to rescue the President from his kidnappers. This film lacked originality and while it contained an ensemble cast of stars, none of them seem to be utilized for the talents that they each have.
Expectations were not held high for a film such as this one, but there are always those films that surprise us and surpass the audiences’ expectations. Being a fan of multiple actors in the film and while a handful of them are even Oscar nominees, it seems hard to go wrong, but then again “Olympus Has Fallen” also had Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman. While that one was passed up by myself and a number of others, it did not look good and it may have been good to stay away from this film as well. This film hosts a star-studded cast including Jamie Foxx, Channing Tatum, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Richard Jenkins and Jason Clarke.
“White House Down” stars Jamie Foxx as the President and Channing Tatum, who plays John Cale, a man who is denied the job in the secret service and ends up protecting the president anyway while on a tour of the White House. Cale is a policeman who interviews for the position in the secret service at the beginning of the film, and after not wanting to admit the news that he did not get the job to his daughter, takes her on a tour of the White House. This just happens to be on the same day that a paramilitary group invades the place and takes over, allowing Cale to be the hero that he has always wanted to be and protect President James Sawyer after being in the right place at the right time. It is revealed that this is somewhat of an inside job to kill off the President and in the midst of all of this chaos, Cale makes it his responsibility to save the president, his daughter and the country.
Much of the action in the film was very cliche and simply done in order to make Channing Tatum look like the cool hot shot that he has become typecast as. He is even shown throughout the film and during action sequences in a sleeve-less top, which is clearly not necessary during a film like this, although I guess Bruce Willis did do about the same thing in “Die Hard.” It seems fitting that Cale ends up saving the day and getting the president to safety, after being denied the job in the first place. He of course gains the president’s trust after the day that he spends protecting him and earns the job that he wanted in the first place. President Sawyer was of course safe at the end as anyone could have predicted, as was Cale’s daughter who got in the middle of the crises in the beginning after getting initial video footage of the attackers and getting herself kidnapped as a result.
It seems that it has become harder and harder to come across a really good action film in recent years. This film falls short of expectations and while at times it can be entertaining, this film seems to have little redeeming value and would not be worth a second watch by any means. The plot has simply been done too many times now and the dialogue seemed to be annoying at times too, including lines like “get your hands off my Jordans!” coming from the president of the United States. In a way it is cool to think about the president acting the way that he does in this film, but it is also just very odd to picture the president leaning out of the side of a truck and shooting a rocket launcher at the men that have been attacking him.
This film is one that can be easily avoided if someone is looking for a film with value and quality to it. If someone is simply looking for something to entertain them for a couple hours and see a bunch of things blow up, then this may be the film to go see. The film also drags on a bit and lasts over two hours, which is clearly unnecessary with a plot such as this one that just seems to be extended for no apparent reason. Even the star power of Jamie Foxx and the great supporting cast were not able to save this film from its inevitable downfall. If you have a choice, it would be recommended that you go see something else or save your money until something better comes out.