Writer: Naseem RandhawaWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Independence Day", "2012", "Die Hard" & "Con Air"
Ask director Roland Emmerich if he seen that other White House movie, "Olympus Has Fallen" released earlier this year and he would say "No". That's because the disaster film maestro believes that his "White House Down" is a completely different kind of film and deliveries its own kind of adrenaline fueled experience. So does it deliver? Yes, in true Emmerich style it does.
If you enjoy a survival centered plot set amidst a grand disaster with a bit of comedy thrown in here and there as seen in "Independence Day", "The Day After Tomorrow" and "2012", then you would love this. But unlike those films, the disaster in "White House Down" is contained within a single location, thus therein lies the challenge of keeping the parallel momentum of action and plot going to keep audiences at the edge of their seats.
The first half of "White House Down" acquaints us with the characters of the film, because let's face it, if we don't know them well enough to relate to at the beginning of the film, then we couldn't care less about the disaster they will face later on. Art imitates life for real-life new dad Channing Tatum, who plays The Capitol's police man John Cale, a struggling father to his young daughter Emily Cale (Joey King) who unlike any girl her age whom should be a Belieber, is instead obsessed with the White House and everything to do with its presidency. To impress Emily, John secures an interview at the White House to be part of the President's Secret Service team and brings his daughter along for a tour. Naturally he blows the interview, but finds himself given a second chance to step up and bring President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx) to safety when a paramilitary group takes over the grounds, and this is where the second half of the film truly begins.
Naturally with every Emmerich film, you can expect destruction and chaos to be timed accordingly like a finely tuned metronome, so it's no exception that the White House itself gets blown up, cars crash in mid-air and planes get blown up, also in mid-air on regular intervals! While all this is happening in the midst of high tension situations, you can find laughs especially between actors Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx ,who make a great pair on screen with their comedic timing that's aptly placed and when you least expect it.
Tatum makes a believable father figure and action hero which is almost reminiscent to the fatherly characters seen in the "Die Hard" films and "Con Air" (Bruce Willis' character in "Die Hard" is named John McClane, an inspiration for John Hale perhaps?) Well, he was the director's first choice after all, and they even delayed the shoot of the film so that Tatum's busy schedule will allow it. As for Jamie Foxx's role, just close your eyes and you will notice that his voice and overall manner of speech is rather similar to President Obama, so apart from the obvious traits; Foxx is actually molded as another version of Obama, but this one dabbles with a bit more weaponry and sass! The main point of the casting of the duo is to make them relatable and likeable enough for the audiences, so that we will end up rooting for them, and root you shall with this pair.
A good combo for a successful blockbuster result, this film hits on all the right places; great cast, action, disaster, suspense and family values all on equal grounds. "White House Down" is no Debbie Downer that's for sure!Cinema Online, 26 June 2013