White House Down: Review

Image from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2334879/

Washington D.C. has had a pretty tough year.

First the White House is attacked by North Koreans in Olympus Has Fallen at the beginning of the year and now it comes under attack again in White House Down. Don’t worry too much though, Channing Tatum and his vest are here to save the day.

Truthfully, my inner film snob thought I was going to destroy this when coming to write the review but I couldn’t help but really enjoy White House Down.

Better than Olympus Has Fallen, it has a lot of what I felt was missing from that film. The screenplay utilises the setting of the White House to a larger degree and rather than scene after scene of hand to hand combat, we get a lot more set pieces such as a car chase around the White House lawn, my favourite scene of the movie which manages to be both exciting and hilarious.

And that’s how I’d best describe White House Down for as much as the action impresses, it’s also one of the funnier films I’ve seen this year, albeit sometimes for the right reasons and sometimes not.

The chemistry between Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx is excellent and really injects a lot of fun into the film. However, for all the genuinely funny moments that come from their characters, there are moments which just miss the mark completely to the point of cringe.

This comes primarily from the side characters which litter and distract from the overall story, the main perpetrator being a tour guide who is more concerned with preserving priceless heirlooms than he is worried about being shot. Annoying.

This and an overly long run time at two hours ten minutes lets the film down slightly and I could have done with a few of the side stories left on the cutting room floor to make a more concise final product.

In the grand scheme of things though there’s enough good to still warrant seeing White House Down. It’s pretty much a love letter to the original Die Hard, stealing it’s iconography of the elevator shafts, white vests, walkie talkies and geeky tech guys who listen to classical music. This isn’t a bad thing.

It’s the type of over the top silly action film that one has come to expect from a film maker such as Roland Emmerich who destroyed the White House once before in Independence Day. If you liked Olympus Has Fallen chances are you’ll love this. Switch off your brain and enjoy.

White House Down is out in cinemas Friday 13th September.


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