Friday, December 27, 2013

Film Review: White House Down (2013)

White House Down (Review)
United States/2013
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

" If you're looking for something fun and exhilarating ... White House Down comes strongly recommended."

John Cale (Channing Tatum) is a Capitol Police officer trying to impress his daughter Emily (Joey King) by joining U.S. President James Sawyer's (Jamie Foxx) security detail. During a tour of the White House, the building is assaulted with President Sawyer, Emily, and John trapped inside...

White House Down continues to follow a fairly straight-forward story. John has to rescue his daughter and the President from a group of highly-trained and strongly-armed mercenaries, while keeping himself alive; furthermore, he has to stop the terrorists from escalating their attack. Of course, there is an explanation for the attack that involves betrayal and revenge. And, of course, Emily is captured, which causes John to have to focus on protecting two people. The story continues to a cheesy ending, although it keeps the same tone of the rest of the film -- not bad at all.

To enjoy White House Down, you'll have to suspend reality for two hours. Of course this isn't a likely scenario, it's not plausible and so on. After you do so, you'll be able to enjoy the film's humorous, almost satirical vibe and its superb action sequences. The humor starts off a bit too cheesy for me, with some squirrel nonsense, but it becomes more grounded later on. The action is exhilarating with hand-to-hand combat, explosions, and shootouts around every corner. The initial raid if the White House and some of the hand-to-hand combat doesn't quite match those of Olympus Has Fallen, but the rest of the sequences really surpass it. The lawn chase scene, for example, is wonderfully shot and very memorable. The runtime feels a bit bloated, especially when the ending begins to drag, but it ultimately offers enough to justify the two hours.

Channing Tatum -- and this is a problem for most of the cast -- didn't really feel believable or even charismatic. Jamie Foxx's performance felt like a bad impersonation of President Obama, and not in a funny way. However, after some weak introductions, they get more comfortable and their performances become more than tolerable, pretty much enjoyable. The special effects are superb, and they really compliment the stylish cinematography. The music also hits the right notes in the appropriate moments. (i.e. It gets epic when it hits the fan.) Roland Emmerich's direction is also as great as it could be for a summer blockbuster.

Overall, White House Down is a thrilling action blockbuster with a great blend of humor. Although it shares a similar concept, White House Down serves as the opposite of Olympus Has Fallen in terms of theme and even genre. If you're looking for something fun and exhilarating, and you can turn your brain off for two hours so you don't question every single scene, White House Down comes strongly recommended.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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