Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum in White House Down (2013)

Emmerich's White House Obsession

In an attempt to impress his daughter John Cale (Channing Tatum) not only scores an interview to join the Secret Service as protection to President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx) but he also manages to arrange passes to join a White House tour. But during the tour the White House comes under attack from a group of mercenaries connected with not only a politician who disagrees with the President's policies but also a member of security who is still grieving after the loss of their Marine son. Now with most of the secret service killed it is up to Cale to not only make sure his daughter gets out but to save the President as well.

A few things struck me as I watched "White House Down" one of which was James Woods who seemed to have morphed in to George C. Scott not only beginning to look like him but also having some of the great actors style. And that is not a criticism as it works and makes Woods' character an interesting one with a certain air of gravitas surrounding him. The other thing which struck me was what director Roland Emmerich was doing because with every movie he makes he seems to turn up the dial another botch with bigger action scenes, bigger explosions and bigger moments of comedy. But that is a problem for me because every time he turns the dial up a movie becomes more ridiculous and in "White House Down" the intentional funny dialogue ended up not funny just extremely cheesy.

But get beyond those two things "White House Down" is basically new generation "Die Hard" with Channing Tatum even wearing a white vest in honour of the movie's obvious roots. And to be honest whilst the whole ridiculous nature of "White House Down" didn't sit too comfortably with me I did enjoy the movie. The characters were good, the action was attention grabbing and as one of those who feels that Bruce Willis as John McClane is past his best before day seeing Channing Tatum doing a John McClane was entertaining even if every time he leapt he did so with the grace of a dancer rather than an action hero.

What this all boils down to is that "White House Down" is simply an entertaining popcorn movie which I am sure entertains a younger audience a lot more than it did me. But for me Roland Emmerich's turning up the dial on everything including the humour sadly spoils the movie ever so slightly.