Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘White House Down’ Review: Emmerich Doesn’t Please This DC Girl

The best thing that’s come from White House Down is the extremely hilarious and inappropriate Channing All Over Your Tatum music video on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” It’s a sin if you haven’t watched it by now. In fact, it’s so good, don’t even read this review and just watch it again. I’ve provided it below for your convenience.

It’s hard not to mention this year’s Olympus Has Fallen, when talking about White House Down because it’s basically the same plot. Terrorists invade the White House, the President is in danger and a strapping muscular guy who is trying to mend his past comes along to save him.

I like Roland Emmerich as a director. I love Independence Day; The Day After Tomorrow is really fun (and I can’t resist it when it comes on cable!); The Patriot is a classic (RIP Heath Ledger); and heck, I even enjoyed parts of 2012. But everything that is wrong with an Emmerich movie is messily thrown into White House Down, making it a disappointing film that could have been a fun summer, popcorn blockbuster.

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The biggest sin about White House Down is that is makes good actors look bad. Channing Tatum is a fine actor, who gets better with each movie he does; Oscar winner Jamie Foxx can sing, dance and act; Maggie Gyllenhaal is versatile and has been in everything between S&M films to Batman; and the lovely, young Joey King, who showed us her talents in this year’s Oz the Great and Powerful is adorable and has a promising career in Hollywood. During the course of WHD, you will laugh at all of these actors, in a bad way. Not good!

Also, Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx were the best parts of the movie, but the screenplay doesn’t give them enough screen time! Seriously, don’t look at me like I’m crazy or think I’m just Channing-obsessed, but there really isn’t enough of them in the movie. The screenplay is too villain focused because there are two different villains in the film. Since both of them keep popping up so much, it’s hard to tell which one is actually the “lead villain.” An action movie like this shouldn’t be cluttered with the villain’s story and we NEVER fully understand what his motive is. The audience needs to see our hero (Channing Tatum) and our protagonist (Jamie Foxx) forming a relationship that makes us root for them to win in the end. That doesn’t happen here.

I adore Django, I mean Jamie Foxx…but he was miscast as the role of the President. He’s looks too young and doesn’t have enough screen time before all the action to command the presence as the President. When he has lines like “Get off my Jordans!” its just stupid rather than funny. Those lines would be completely earned, if he had the appropriate, authoritative lines the President should have in a movie like this.

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Roland Emmerich’s newest action flick White House Down benefits from Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx’s impeccable chemistry, but it’s too bad they can’t lift the film from action thriller clichés and a goofy climax.

White House Down receives 2.5/5 Stars because Tatum and Foxx’s chemistry make the film only tolerable.

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