Every year there is some story element that seems to spark dueling films at the box office. This year seemed to be focusing on the destruction and hostile takeover of the White House with the first film being Olympus Has Fallen taking a more hardcore approach with old school action. Now the man who has already blown up the White House before director Roland Emmerich delivers his addition to this story with White House Down bringing along Channing Tatum and Jaime Foxx for a more of a buddy action film, but does it deliver?
White House Down follows a Capital Policeman who has just been denied his dream job of becoming a secret service agent. While on a tour with his daughter a heavily armed paramilitary group takes over the White House leaving massive destruction in their wake. Now it is up to him to save his daughter who is being held hostage, save the President and the country. Olympus Has Fallen wasn’t a perfect film but it was a great action movie and set the bar high for this one to follow. The hokey nature of the trailers for this film didn’t make the film look like anything all that special, but it actually works better than you might think. It’s far from perfect either and filled with pretty much every action cliché you can think of, but manages to still come across as a good buddy action film similar in tone to films like Lethal Weapon, but with a Die Hard-ish twist. Tatum has been really stepping up his game and delivering some good films lately and does a good job here even though some of his dialogue seemed a bit forced. Jamie Foxx is usually a strong choice and does fine here, but just doesn’t have that presence needed to be the President. Thankfully Foxx and Tatum have decent chemistry so it helps to make the film work a bit better. The story is predictable and isn’t breaking any walls down, but does still manage to deliver an acceptable action film. Director Emmerich hasn’t delivered a really great action film in some time, but here seems to be back in form and has brought along his love of destroying things with him. The action is all well done and is sure to please anyone that is looking for some insane action that tries to maintain some realism at the same time.
There aren’t many action movies that are doing all that great these days, so it’s nice to see one that delivers a bit more than the trailers let on. When you see some of the more silly moments in context they actually work a bit better. While it could be argued that they sacrificed some of the action for the PG-13 rating they certainly didn’t short change the film with gun and fist fights or property damage. If you’re a fan of either of these guys or just action films in general give it a try and you will probably have a great time. In addition to the film this release also features numerous behind the scenes featurettes, a gag reel, and more.
Be sure to grab your copy when it hits shelves on November 5th.