Chris' Review of White House Down
White House Down(2013)
Miles better than its doppelgänger--Olympus Has Fallen--White House Down stands tall amongst Roland Emmerich's filmography as an entry that's not just digestible, but damn entertaining. It's not as in-your-face-absurd as 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow, and it doesn't have the same pacing issues as The Patriot. Emmerich nails the action-comedy vibe, as the film's tone seamlessly switches between intensity and hilarity. Foxx and Tatum have some great chemistry in their banter, and while the former's performance is less than presidential, the latter proves that his shoulders are more than broad enough to carry a movie of this size and scale. He definitely asserted himself as one to watch in 21 Jump Street, and his recent work with Soderbergh in conjunction with WHD has established him as an adept, charismatic leading man.
The movie smothers itself in cheese and clichés, but it manages to push past them--for the most part. Tatum's character--John Cale--has about as cliché of an action hero complex as possible. He's a maverick, he's non-commital and he consistently tries and fails to reconnect with his daughter and ex-wife. His exchanges with his daughter are painful and frankly unengaging. They weigh the film down with melodrama in search of depth, which is a mistake Hollywood studios seem to make over and over again. Nonetheless, thrilling set pieces and well-cast lead actors elevate an otherwise lousy film into a solid summer blockbuster.