on 27 August 2014
I really enjoyed this film. Great performances from Foxx and Tatum, but most of all a Die Hard style gripping action movie. This is an action movie, it is fast passed and dramatic, with subtle humor added in. Despite being over 2 hours long the film does not drag at all. I was either griped by the drama, or distracted by an explosion the whole time.
The story Foxx stars as the current president of the US, he is striving for peace in the middle east, but this does not sit well with the weapons manufacturers. Tatum plays a down on his luck former soldier, starting to get his life together, currently working as a senatorial bodyguard. He is trying to redeem himself in the eyes of his estranged but politically idealistic daughter so applies for a job in the secret service to protect the president. Scoring tickets to a tour of the White House in the process. So of course he is on hand when there is a domestic terrorist attack on the White House.
I enjoyed this film from the beginning to the end. It ticked all the boxes for me, and I would recommend this to anyone. This is a fun to watch action film keep that in mind and enjoy. this is one of the best action movies I have seen in a long time.
The White House in under attack and only Tatum Channing, a wannabe secret service agent can save the world, the POTUS (Jamie Foxx) and protect his 11 year old daughter (Joey King). The movie follows a "Die Hard" formula.
There is nothing overly special about this film. It uses the current world situation and creates stock political characters. The scenario ranges from improbable to impossible. Break out the popcorn and enjoy the feature as Channing bonds with his movie daughter and beats up the bad guys against all odds.
Parental Guide: 1 F-bomb. No sex or nudity.
on 17 September 2015
I really did enjoy this film. Despite having the same premise as OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, which edged it out into theaters by a few months, WHITE HOUSE DOWN is actually the better film. While OLYMPUS reveled in 80's action clichés with jingoistic fervor and took itself way too seriously, WHITE HOUSE DOWN manages to have a sense of humor about it and also treats the subject with more currency. The faults of the movies are largely shared, with an overblown, ridiculous plot being the largest offender. Where WHITE HOUSE DOWN shines, though, is the great chemistry and banter between Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. On the flip side, I thought that way too much attention was paid to the villains and too much screen time was allotted to giving the audience a reason to care about them, as opposed to the protagonists, which were let down by the script. Ultimately, there was way too much going on behind the scenes, when the story could have stuck to being a movie about a dad trying to save his daughter, which is what is at the core of the narrative. Of course, you can blame Roland Emmerich for that. Most of his movies are cheesy, bombastic explosion/disaster-fests, and this is no different. However, after blowing up the White House in INDEPENDENCE DAY, and destroying the world in 2012, this comes off as a little underwhelming. However, despite the narrative clichés and overblown, convoluted story, there is a surprising amount of heart which distinguishes it from OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN. I feel, had this one come out first, it would have been the bigger hit. As it stands, though, it didn't and generally audiences had a lower tolerance for what they probably considered to be a carbon copy of something that came out earlier that year. So if you haven't seen either one of these, WHITE HOUSE DOWN is the better film by a small, but significant, margin.
on 22 June 2014
It's odd that in a world where there is a real threat from terrorism someone feels it is a suitable subject to make a daft action movie from it. After all if United Airlines Flight 93 had crashed into the White House I don't think Channing Tatum would have been able to do much to save it.
The only way to watch this movie is not to take it too seriously. It's essentially a buddy movie where the president, played by Jamie Fox is half of the dynamic duo. The movie goes to some pains to make you like this president, who is almost an idealised Barack Obama. This president has plans to withdrawn all forces from the Middle East - now if only Obama had thought of that. He also makes wise cracks, hangs out with the kids, wears cool trainers and is generally a bit of a dude.
There are obvious parrallels to the Gerard Butler movie Olympus Has Fallen which came out around the same time and involves an almost identical plot. All you need is a house that looks enough like the White House for the close ups and some CGI enhanced footage of the exterior of the real White House and you can do whatever you want with the presidents home. This is definitely the better of the two movies though mainly because of the humour and the banter between the two main characters. That said neither film is paritcularly brilliant, and both register highly on the "God Bless America"-o-meter.
If you want to disengage your brain and enjoy some mindless action this movie can be a lot of fun. Real life terrorism is not fun but at least in the movies you can guarantee the good guys always win.
I'll be honest, I didn't have very high hopes for White House Down when I sat down to watch it; however, I found that I absolutely loved this film. White House Down mixes together action and comedy to create a really entertaining film that grips you from beginning to end.
That's not to say that this film isn't flawed, because it is in many ways. First and foremost are the special effects. Whilst at times they were excellent, at others, they really weren't. The opening shots of the White House are evidently fake and there are a few other moments that are supposed to be visually spectacular that are clearly the work of what seems to be an amateur CGI artist. This was disappointing because had these effects been bettered, even by just a little, this film would've earned itself a few more brownie points.
The plot of this film, for the most part is well structured and exciting. This film is about catastrophic events that take place when the White House is infiltrated, but the reason for this is cleverly concealed until the very end. There are numerous plot twists throughout the film (even in the last five minutes!) that keep you on your toes. I most certainly would not have been able to predict the way this movie would pan out, something that I think should be commended given that this sort f film has been made and remade time and time again. This is a newer, certainly more thrilling, take on the 'President-in-crisis' story. That said, there were a few moments, more towards the end of the film, where slightly too unrealistic events were occurring. Sometimes this was a fault of the humour that embodies this film, at others, just an over-excited script writer.
I was surprised to find that White House Down is actually a really funny film. Actually scrap that - it's downright hilarious at times. You'll find the perfect blend of action and comedy in this film, but the comedy does not take away any of the impact of the action. There were a few moments when I did question whether or not humour was really appropriate but for the most part, it was seamlessly integrated into the plot and the characters' personalities to make this an incredibly entertaining film. Tatum and Foxx were the perfect pair for this film as both men are talented actors when it comes to action and comedy and emotion - the three key elements to this film. Alongside the humour are some pretty badass action scenes. There's everything from gun fights to fist fights to knife fights to missile launches to high speed car chases (around the Whote House, in the president's limo I might add). I was really impressed y the action scenes as they had me gripping the edge of my seat, never certain who had the upper hand or what move would be pulled next.
As well as action and comedy's there's also a dash of emotion added in. There is also the story of a man fearlessly trying to protect the life of the President whilst his daughter is being held hostage. There are many emotional conflicts which bring you to a more personal level with the characters so it's not all guns and grenades. I cried several times whilst watching this film (as I am slightly ashamed to admit), but you really do start rooting for the characters and their cause. In addition, this film managed to instil me with a deep sense of patriotism and admiration for the patriotism of Americans, despite the fact that I am not American.
All in all, I would highly recommend this film to fans of either action or comedy or both. This film had me second guessing the plot the entire way through and it's not until the very end of the film that everything is revealed. I guarantee this film will have you on the edge of your seat.
on 16 November 2014
If you like explosions, lots of shooting, more explosions, complete destruction along with humour that doesn't quite work, then you will enjoy this.
Why I watched to the end I am not sure, maybe it was because I couldn't believe how more ridiculous it could become. Just when you think there have been enough explosions there are more. The tongue in check casual portrayal of the White House administration including the president and security forces simply made this look like comic book material, totally lacking in authenticity, and thrown together just to make an unusual backdrop to another "shootem-up" film.
It is watchable, and then totally forgettable.
on 29 May 2015
I watched this while constantly thinking... "this MUST be a spoof". But sadly it isn't. Every cliche, every unlikely plot device, all the terrible dialogue rejected by other action movies, the over-the-top acting, jarringly implausible events, all have been crammed into this movie.
I can only conclude it started out as a spoof, and late in the day a different producer was brought in who had not been informed it was meant to be a silly comedy.
I am trying to think of a worse film I've watched in recent years...... and failing.
Writing this review is my only way of getting revenge for the couple of hours stolen from my life.
on 28 February 2014
Strangely enough, ‘White House Down’ is one of two films about terrorists taking over the White House released in the same year (the other being ‘Olympus Has Fallen’). They basically follow identical plots of regarding terrorists taking over the White House when it just so happens that – by complete chance – the one man capable of fighting off an entire army of highly-trained mercenaries happens to be in the building.
Judging by how well both movies were received, it’s widely accepted that Olympus Has Fallen is more serious, whereas White House Down is a little more light-hearted and cheesy. So, depending on whether you like your action films dark and moody, or light and fluffy, will go some way to which one you thought was better.
Personally, I preferred Olympus – not because it was darker or anything, but simply because (although it too offered nothing new in the way of storylines), the action was a little more inventive and realistic. In White House Down, you have every single action movie cliché going. Everything from the hero’s family being taken hostage, to the (strangely incompetent) special forces who offer nothing in the way of credible help, to an air strike on the building destined to be thwarted at the eleventh hour.
It’s not a bad film, but it’s certainly not a great one either. It’s the sort of film you can walk in and out of and not miss a thing, nor fail to understand every aspect of the plot. If I wanted to watch a film about the White House being taken over, I’d watch Olympus again. Nothing bad here, but just nothing to warrant a second viewing.
on 25 February 2014
It shouldn't have worked. 'Olympus Has Fallen' beat it to the box office, and everything from 'Die Hard' to 'Air Force One' beat it to half of its plot moments. It even shares two near-identical moments with its direct competitor, 'Olympus'. However, through sheer charisma, White House Down rises above its influences to emerge as one of the best action movies of the year. Director Emmerich is the best he's been in years with a brutally slick and thrilling style. Foxx is charming, believable and somehow manages to be human and presidential all in one go. Tatum is used to playing heroic, but has rarely had to shoulder a movie almost solo as an action lead, and he pulls it off with aplomb while never losing his edge as a father torn between his need to save his daughter and his need to save the president.
Because some of the best moments in the movie are twists (albeit ones that action fans may see coming) I won't reveal much about the plot, save to say that it builds with expert precision to a fantastic old-school nerve-shredder of against-the-clock tension. If all of this sounds exactly like 'Olympus Has Fallen', take the style, charisma and directorial excellence of that other film and ramp it up to 11, and you have this one.
Does it have flaws? Yes. While they eventually become terrific, the bad guys don't initially seem that formidable. It also takes the film half of its length to shake off the feeling of familiarity and really become its own animal. It sadly also suffers from that odd curse of recent blockbusters - an over-reliance on CGI helicopters that occasionally fail to convince.
Luckily it wins on several points: it's missing the uncomfortable racism of 'Olympus', and less of the cheesy superiority-laced flag-waving rhetoric (although someone here does literally wave a flag, to much better effect). Tatum's hero also feels more like a normal everyman, until circumstances force him to raise his game. With faster, better direction, better acting, and a rip-roaring music score, this is the movie 'Olympus Has Fallen' nearly was. Solid Gold.
Capitol policeman John Cale (Tatum) finds himself in the right place at the wrong time, as disgruntled US employee's attack the White House & take the President & the tour group he & his daughter are in, hostage. As a wannabe secret service agent, could this be his chance to step up & save the day ?
Channing Tatum is the ex-solider who teams up with the President, played by Jamie Foxx, as they play cat & mouse with a group of mercenaries through the White House. Trying to evade capture, save Cale's daughter & stop World War III. There is a lot going on with multiple story threads, and it's obviously more of a family orientated film with Roland Emmerich's (Independence Day) lighthearted take on the material with a hint of cheese. Which results in Tatum not cranking up a huge body count consistently throughout, more a quick flourish in places. And those kills/deaths are quite tame, not much blood & you don't see or hear a lot of gruesome details. The early build up of the film is interesting, and it doesn't try to hide who the key players are on both sides in this politically driven story. While it lays on the usual cliche's, predictability & implausibilities, but the inevitable take over, action highlights & emotional crescendo never the less still hit home, and leave a little lump in the throat as you get swept up in the emotions of the moment.
Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street) gave a good performance as a father trying to connect with his estranged daughter, played exceptionally by Joey King (Oz), while easily handling the bulk of the physical action sequences. Jamie Fox (Django Unchained) was a little more reserved in the action stakes, giving an assured performance with an air of Barrack Obama's cool persona about him, while being a little goofy. As without doubt, the focus was on them not taking it too seriously, with a combination of acting/natural comedy abilities. They're chemistry was effective, be it in times of serious reflection on the situation at hand, spontaneous humor at a given situation or banter, brought some genuine laughs & serious edge when called for. James Woods (Videodrome) & Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) made for formidable enough cookie cutter villains on the opposite side. Also co-stars Maggie Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko), Jimmi Simpson (Breakout Kings) & Richard Jenkins (Step Brothers).
In conclusion, Olympus Has Fallen & White House Down are both entertaining with they're different approaches on the White House hostage situation material. Take your pick. Contains mild foul language & violence. Recommended.