Film Review – White House Down (2013)

White House Down

Title: White House Down (2013)

Director: Roland Emmerich (The Day After Tomorrow)

Cast: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Richard Jenkins, Jason Clarke, Joey King

Plot: Bodyguard Cale (Tatum) on a tour of the White House with his daughter Emily (King) must turn one man army and save the day and President Sawyer (Foxx) when bad guys take over the White House and threaten to unleash World War 3.

“This is something you don’t see every day”

Review by Eddie on 22/01/2014

Taking his obsession with destroying America’s capital by any means necassary to all new levels, director Roland Emmerich forgets to bring any inventivness to the party in this bland beyond belief action flick and in a year in which cousin Olympus Has Fallen has pretty much done the same thing, White House Down seems even more dour than it perhaps is.

Getting a whopping $150 million budget to blow things up with and a getting a cast with usually charasmatic prescenses has not stopped Emmerich from directing this action flick in such a boring way that the 2 hour run time is played out at a not far from tortuous pace with the opening 30 minutes and a middle section where Foxx and Tatum seem to spend a worrying amount of time in an elevator shaft particulary unwarrented. It’s strange that a man famed for creating spectacle over substance has more success with the dialouge than the action, with no set piece making any type of lasting impression here where even his lesser films like Day After Tomorrow and the craptacular Godzilla had enough memorable stand alone scenes. If only the action was up to scratch some of the films better elements could of carried it to seriously good popcorn entertainment territory.

A major plus for the film is in it’s main villains who unlike almost every similar film choose not to have them be from some Middle Eastern, Russian, Asian or Africian background giving the film a slightly fresher vibe on that front. A front in which it fails in (like it’s action) is in it’s main cast with Tatum delivering a cold performance as hero Cale, Foxx seeming miss cast as President Sawyer and Joey King on increasingly annoying form as child wonderkid Emily but at least James Woods can hold his head high in a now rare big screen performance.

It’s not hard to see why White House Down was a major flop for Unniversal and in comparing it to Olympus Has Fallen it must be said that they are both pretty much as bad as each other with bland action and blank performances prevelent in both. For a much better time and for less wasting of your life your better off hitting Youtube for Emmerich’s best of White House destruction scenes.

1 and a half rocket wielding president out of 5

17 responses to “Film Review – White House Down (2013)

  1. I actually think this movie was really tongue in cheek, so I enjoyed it on that basis. And I don’t usually like big over done action movies. So for what it was it was it was decent fun.

    • Man I really wanted to enjoy this one a lot more than I did, perhaps I just wasn’t in the mood but it felt so long and the script was just killing me. If the action felt more fresh I think I could of forgiven all that.

  2. Good review Eddie. Believe it or not, I actually liked Olympus Has Fallen a bit better than this one, even though that one was a bit more serious in terms of its story and approach.

    • I to reckon Olympus just beats out in the battle of White House stinkers from last year. I was just surprised at how un-epic this one felt coming from a director that is famous for it.

  3. I love your rating system, it delivers more than numbers. ‘Rocket wielding President’ paints the picture so quickly to me. I guess movie makers are running out of turf for battles using the White House for all grenade throwing. Bringing the ‘War’ home to America, ” To its heart” ( Imagine this in the voice of the Trailer Guy) must have some market value to it. Imagine if someone made a British movie with the Queen in it with Uzis in her handbag.

  4. I saw this movie and actually felt differently. Granted I had 0 expectations for it and was expecting a crappy movie. It was bad but I had fun watching it. I thought Foxx and Tatum (Tatum is an actor I can barely watch on screen) were entertaining. I admit it was way to long for an action movie, but again i was entertained. Nothing special about the film, I just thought i was better than my -5 out of 10 expectations, and would give it a 3.

  5. Certainly not a cinematic classic, but it was a good mindless waste of time. Not as heavy-handed with the right-wing terrorist theme as I expected. It was refreshing that the “bad guys” weren’t radical Islamists. Haven’t seen “Olympus Has Fallen”; should I?

  6. Pingback: Ric’s Netflix Picks: “Olympus Has Fallen” | Snippet Studios·

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