Die Hard: White House Down
If Channing Tatum’s character name had been John McClane instead of John Cale, White House Down could have been called Die Hard on a White House Tour. While Tatum’s character lacked the panache and catch phrase of McClane, Cale was in every other way a McClane clone. The only other thing he was missing was having to walk over broken glass in bare feet.
It was the relationship and chemistry between Tatum and Jamie Foxx, as the President of the United States who has several Obamaesque characteristics, that made the movie hum. They were able to provide comic moments amongst all of the shooting, explosions and ridiculous action that a normal person would be hard-pressed to survive.
Joey King played Emily Cale, John’s daughter, and provided many of the emotional moments that were both heroic and cheesy but cheesy in a good way. James Woods provided the predictable bad guy with the predictable motives, but the twist in the movie’s end, while not a complete surprise, was good enough to give White House Down a little depth.
Special mention should go to Nicolas Wright who played Donnie the Guide. His turn as the heroic White House guide is everything that it should be – a minor character with a couple of great lines. The fact that the film pokes fun at Fox News should only be seen as a positive.
The best scene in the film features the wreck of three Black Hawk helicopters. White House Down mixes the right amount of humor with action and has a cohesive storyline filled with stereotypical characters and behavior but in a good way. (They have missiles, says the guy in the White House. Not according to our intelligence, says the guy at the Pentagon. Really? You are going to disbelieve the guy on site for some intelligence that didn’t even see this coming? Army bureaucrats.)
In a year that also had the release of Olympus Has Fallen, White House Down was clearly the superior film. It is a good time that doesn’t disappoint. Yippee-ki-yay, mother…(insert explosion here)!