The White House is under attack….again. If you saw “Olympus Has Fallen” a few months ago, then you’ve “been there, done that” minus the wonder that is Morgan Freeman. (My kids swear he’s in every movie they’ve ever seen.)
Isn’t it weird when similar movies are released around the same time? Remember last summer’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “Mirror, Mirror”? Granted, they were completely different movies, but I guess it’s a matter of studios spying on each other for movie themes and wanting to “one-up” each other. Like “Olympus Has Fallen”, “White House Down” has received mixed reviews.
Including a funny reference to the blockbuster “Independence Day” this action thriller was directed by Roland Emmerich who also directed “Independence Day”, “2012” and “The Day After Tomorrow.” He obviously loves disasters and making messes, although this is the first time that the chaos is confined to one specific location. Written by James Vanderbilt, who also wrote “The Amazing Spider-Man”, this Sony release doesn’t hit as hard or as funny as you might like, but is still enjoyable for those who love explosions and lots and lots of gun fire. Lots.
Of course, if all you care about is watching sexy actor-turned-action hero, Channing Tatum, then you’re good to go. Tatum plays John Cale, an ex-soldier underdog who visits the White House in hopes of securing a job with the Secret Service. Jamie Foxx plays President Sawyer, an Obama-esque leader who drops the only F-bomb in the flick. Touting a left-wing agenda of anti-military, President Sawyer is ironically saved by the troops.
I noticed that the summer popcorn movie scored fairly average on Rotten Tomatoes with many viewers citing the “cheese factor”, as well as comparisons to the one-man-against-all-the-bad guys style of all the “Die Hard” films. Tatum even wears the classic dirty “wife-beater” t-shirt styled by Bruce Willis in the franchise films. The “Die Hard” formula has been a hit with many movie-goers for years, and this one will be too. Unfortunately, it has some clichés that make it a bit tired, such as the disgruntled teen who calls her father by his first name until she sees what a true hero he really is, bad guys who have superior fire power, yet can’t seem to ever hit their target, and characters who walk away from a grenade that explodes only inches away from them.
It’s still a lot of fun and reminds us that family is most important. Interestingly, both the evil mastermind and the hero fight for family in “White House Down.” Take a tub of buttery popcorn and your teenage boys.