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White House Down


White House Down



Release date: 5th September 2013
Rating: M
Director:Roland Emmerich

Stars: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Richard Jenkins, James Woods & Jason Clarke

Run Time: 131 min’s
Trailer: http://bit.ly/1dGIEyR
Score: 3 3⁄4 out of 5


So this is where I make even more of a fool of myself than usual by admitting I actually had a hell of a lot of fun watching White House Down. Somehow I don’t think I was supposed to chuckle at every moment that I did; but when the director of Independence Day (Emmerich) effectively makes Die Hard in the White House with a heavy dose of Lethal Weapon thrown in ... what choice did I have but laugh my ass off??

Don’t get me wrong. This flick is DUMB, DUMB, DUMB. But much like say the last couple of Fast & Furious movies, WHD is not trying to do anything but entertain the masses with 1. a massive helping of action & 2. plenty of piss- taking laughs. End of story.

Speaking of story, this one has decorated ex-Marine Cale (Tatum) leaving an unsuccessful Secret Service interview at the White House, just as it’s taken over by a hard-core paramilitary group (posing as ... wait for it ... home theatre technicians). So as a tour group including Cale’s Presidentially-obsessed 11y.o. daughter become hostages, the HDMI Bandits (sorry, terrorists) pretty much exterminate all White House staff except for President Sawyer (Foxx) - who Cale has conveniently in his protection. But saving POTUS from the bad guys is only the 1st step. Now Riggs & Murtagh (sorry, Cale & the Prez) have to find a way out of the heavily fortified Presidential compound. Cue some of the most preposterously funny vision of armoured vehicles doing donuts with rocket launchers on the White House lawn that you’re ever likely to see. Seriously, the Lethal Weapon quips between Tatum & Foxx had me in stitches.

I’m the first to admit that for most of Tatum’s early career I’d pretty much written him off as the pretty boy heir to Keanu Reeves’ title of ‘woodenest actor of his generation’ (hello Dear John, The Vow, Step Up 1 & 2). But after displaying great comic timing in 21 Jump Street & This Is The End as well as a solid effort in Magic Mike, I’m really starting to rate him. And as Cale he manages to pull off not just the Dad struggling to reconnect with his child of divorce but also the buddy cop comedy that lesser performers would have struggled with.

So in closing, let me reiterate - WHD is DUMB, DUMB, DUMB. And it’s about 20 minutes too long. But where earlier this year’s very similarly plotted but far more earnest, Olympus Is Down desperately wanted to be taken seriously ... Emmerich heaps on the cheese with a nudge, nudge; effectively inviting us in on the big jokey actioner. 

Tickets available at The Box Office