Monday, July 15, 2013

White House Down - a movie review


When we left this movie my wife turned to me and asked "Didn't we just see this?"
Well, almost.

A few months ago we saw Olympus Has Fallen where Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) tromped through a destroyed White House and eventually saved the President (nicely played by Aaron Eckhart) and the world. The theme is the same: bad guys destroy the White House and get into the President's top secret bunker to launch nuclear devastation on the world. The good guy survives multiple assaults but limps on to save the world, neutralizing roof-top missiles launched at incoming choppers along the way. I'm sure the helicopters were in both movies… Maybe not. Things are starting to blend together in my aged memory.
There isn't a lot of intrigue in either film, though there is a thin plot that pretends there is. If you don't see it coming, go watch more films.
At least in White House Down we are offered the chance to root for more than one character. Aside from Cale (Channing Tatum) we also get to root for his daughter Emily (nicely played by Joey King) who is trapped in the White House and (of course) separated from her Dad when the bombs go off.
Jamie Foxx gave an excellent portrayal of a President, or at least a President who is not entirely self-centered and has some personal charm. When he grabs the Air Jordan shoes most of us chuckled. Smart move, Mr. President. We approve.
Donnie the Guide is probably my favorite character in the entire movie. Brilliantly played by Nicolas Wright, he provided some of the better plot-related lines in the film. When he clocked the bad guy (pun intended) some of the people in the theater cheered. I almost joined them.
Aside from that, we're treated to a thin plot obscured by the need to blow things up and shoot people. That's okay. I knew what I was in for when I went to the movie, so I wasn't disappointed.
If our White House is so easy to blow up, as displayed in these two movies, perhaps we shouldn't have tours any more.
Certainly not for guys with bombs.

On a scale of one to ten, I'd give this one a five or six. I enjoyed it, but I don't plan to buy it. I might watch it again when it comes to television. It's worth seeing at the theater, but you won't miss anything by waiting for the rental.

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