Movie Review: White House Down (2013)

So the zombie apocalypse flick World War Z did not make a great impact on me. A movie that should have been really entertaining but that ended up being a let down, due to a silly plot and poor character development. This week I manage to catch the preview of Sony Picture’s White House Down, an action thriller flick with a cast led by former stripper-dancer, Channing Tatum, classical piano trained, Jamie Foxx, versatile actress, Maggie Gyllenhaal, tough guy, James Woods, Aussie actor, Jason Clarke, and another versatile actor, Richard Jenkins.

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Vibrating action to massage your senses

White House Down is directed by Roland Emmerich whose movies such as 2012, Independence Day, Godzilla, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow, and Stargate, have all been shot on a grand scale and filled with lots of drama, blood, heavy artillery fire, and mind blowing special effects.

You might have been entertained by the aforementioned movies.. but you are still worried. Will this summer release be really worth your time? Together with a talented cast of veteran actors, production crew, movie magic and an eager summer crowd, will this Tatum-Foxx nail biting thriller on an attack on the American hegemony be any good?

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It’s just that easy to jump out a window of the White House

To my surprise, this formulaic action movie on an attack on the iconic White House was very entertaining and rather gripping. I guess I was waiting for it to fail miserably especially since it had the stereotypical role of the hero trying to get his life back together after being an irresponsible adult, getting divorced and wanting to get close with his kid, and then saving the President (and the rest of the world from global warfare, as a result).

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The Gyllenhaal shake

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Besides good performances by the whole cast, the Tatum-Foxx formula worked well, although I couldn’t help thinking as the story unfolded, that White House Down would have been even better as a Die Hard installment. You know, the unlikely hero forced into an extremely difficult situation of having to save the President, and hostages from terrorists. Much better than the last crappy Die Hard.

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Action heroes always use the best 24hour strength deodorants

So in my opinion, White House Down is a good movie to catch at the cinemas. The pacing was great. Its 131 minutes length just whizzes by. It’s has lots of explosions and weapons showcase. Lots of quick kills. Lots of planes and copters zipping by. A grand classical music scene heighten the thrill factor. Timely humour that Foxx pulled off really well. Sappy drama dialogue was kept to sufficient levels for character development but not enough to make you go to sleep. So what is it that I didn’t like? I found the following most annoying.

- The hero’s ability to walk without much pain at the end of the movie despite being wounded after falling 2 stories, several fist fights, and surviving multiple bomb explosions and a car crash.
- The silly patriotic flag wave by the hero’s teenage daughter which probably fits in well with US audiences but not international audiences. She over acts quite a bit as well.
- The interview scene for a Secret Service position by the hero. Given the hero’s poor academic record and the agency’s prerequisite for good grades, the interview would never have taken place.

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White House Down blows up in Malaysian cinema’s on 28 June 2013.

Synopsis

In Columbia Pictures’ “White House Down”, 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.

Comments

  1. ooo, this is the first review i’m reading of this movie. hmmm, i think i’ve kinda had my fill of action movies already for this month, but this does sound like it could be an adrenaline-pumping flick if i need a mood-booster :D

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