White House Down 白宫末日 (2013) – USA

Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA FIPRESCI
Review Date: 11 September 2013

Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Written by: Ted Elliott, Justin Haythe, Terry Rossio

Starring:Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Joey King

Film Distributed by Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Australia
In Australian cinemas from 5th September 2013

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The problem with “White House Down” is essentially down to the fact that I only saw “Olympus Has Fallen”, in less than a month or two ago. They are essentially about the same things, but somehow filmmakers or studios decided in 2013 that bombing the white house is the “in” thing at the moment. I must admit I have more fun watching this, than say “The Lone Ranger”. Then again, we all go into these kind of film expecting mindless entertainment and this is precisely what we get.

Channing Tatum as John Cale provides the film with a good leading man and presents the audience with a good physical presence, but like many of his action counterparts, they are far too stoic. Luckily, he is partnered with the always interesting Jamie Foxx who plays the Obama reincarnation (President James Sawyer). Saving the president from the pitfalls of terrorist in the safest place on Earth is already fun, but when you throw in the daughter equation, it gets more sticky. However, Emily Cale, the child actor (played by Joey King) is far too matured and sometimes her abilities is so over the top that it becomes laughable. In fact, there are too many scene in this film, which manages to become “so bad that it is funny” moments.

All in all, “White House Down” is not a terrible film, given its entertainment value, but it lacks a direction and it does feel a bit all over the place. Having recently seen its partner in crime, “Olympus”, there is certainly more at stakes here, but somehow the former is more tense and probably a lot more serious and tensely build in the process. I am not entirely sure, whether I should be happy or sad that I laughed when someone got shot or bomb, but such is the manner of how the film is played out. Therefore, I prefer “Olympus” for this one. (Neo 2013)

I rated it 5/10

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