Review: White House Down

Written by: Dee Pilgrim

If confirmation was needed (and it really wasn’t) that director Roland Emmerich is the king of the boom-fantastic box office blockbuster, then here it is in all its incendiary glory.

Emmerich doesn’t do subtle or nuanced; his films are an outright assault on your eyes and your ears and he is intent on blowing up everything in his movies, including as many historical landmarks as possible (he’s even said he wants to blow up London).

Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in White House Down

Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in White House Down

Here, he’s blowing up the White House in a film with a script highly reminiscent of this year’s earlier release, Olympus Has Fallen. But, quite frankly, that didn’t have the firepower, the heavy weaponry or the downright destruction WHD does.

Beefcake Channing Tatum stars as John Cale, who is currently on the White House security pay roll but wants to reach the absolute top by becoming a member of the elite security team guarding the President. Unfortunately for him, the day he gets turned down for the job is the day he’s touring the White House with his politics-mad daughter, Emily (Joey King). It also turns out to be the day enemies within the government itself (led by a world-weary looking James Wood) turn on the President (Jamie Foxx) and his regime in an effort to block his peace deal in the Middle East. With the head of the President’s security team (Maggie Gyllenhaal) locked out of the White House it’s up to Cale to single-handedly wage a war on the home-grown terrorists, with a little help from Emily, a wise-cracking tour guide and even the Pres himself.

So, sit back and watch as the wanton destruction begins with tanks being blown up, armoured cars driving into swimming pools and not one but three Black Hawk helicopters crashing into balls of flames. Oh, and the beautiful cupola of the White House also becomes a casualty as does the entire White House security team bar the machine gun-toting Cale.

It’s silly and it’s incredibly loud, so much so at times it’s difficult to follow the dialogue; although you don’t really need to hear what’s being said, you just need to watch the mayhem on screen. At two-and-a-half hours long, this is a blockbuster of epic proportions and a real hoot to boot, so buy the biggest size popcorn you can, relax and get set to enjoy the fireworks.

Author: Dee Pilgrim

Dee always knew she wanted to make her living from writing and so trained as a journalist before working for a variety of music and women’s titles including Sounds, Company, Cosmopolitan, Ms London, New Woman, and Girl About Town. After going freelance she concentrated on celebrity interviews and film, theatre, music and restaurant reviews. Her love of film goes back to her very first cinema experience at the age of five when her mother took her to see Bambi. She cried. At one time she was the Film Editor for NOW magazine and also the secretary for the film section of the Critics’ Circle and the celebrity coordinator for its annual film awards’ event. She has written a number of books for teenagers through Trotman Publishing, including five Real Life Guides to vocational careers (including Carpentry, Plumbing and Catering), and also three books on Real Life Issues (Money, Bereavement and Self Harm). Her favourite film is still Bladerunner.

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