White House Down
Cast: Cale (Channing Tatum), President Sawyer (Jamie Foxx), Finnerty (Maggie Gyllenhaal), Stenz (Jason Clarke), Emily (Joey King), Raphelson (Richard Jenkins), Walker (James Woods)
Director: Roland Emmerich
Theatrical release: 06/28/2013
DVD Date: 11/05/2013
Running Time: 131 minutes
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Review: White House Down is better than you expect it to be but not nearly as good as it should be.
Channing Tatum stars as Cale, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and now on security detail for a Congressman. His dream job, however, is with the Secret Service, specifically protecting the President (played by Jamie Foxx), a job that his daughter, an expert in all things governmental, can only dream of him having. Pulling a few strings, he gets an interview at the White House but his past as a bit of a rogue player knocks him out of the running. Joining a tour of the building (with his daughter in tow), he's in a position to make a difference when terrorists take over the facility, intent on capturing and ransoming the President.
Given how utterly predictable every scene will be (and is) in the film, the trick here for the director is to keep the action constantly moving forward while still telling some semblance of a story … and maintaining some measure of credibility in the process. And for the most part, that is achieved. The screenplay is serviceable, and while a few red herrings are dropped along the way, it isn't too hard to figure out early on who is pulling the strings behind the takeover.
Probably the single biggest drawback is that Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx have absolutely no chemistry on screen. True, they have just met under very trying circumstances, but there's a tension in their scenes together that goes well beyond what the script calls for.
Still, White House Down is enjoyable as a weekend with nothing better to do kind of action movie. Fun to see once, but unlikely to want to see again.
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