Written by Rosie Taylor.
If you thoroughly enjoy unrealistic cinematic disasters, White House Down is a high ten.
Heart-throb of the minute Channing Tatum, not one to surprise, plays yet another gunslinger in the form of an aspiring secret service agent John Cale. After failing to meet the requirements of presidential protection he (spitefully?) takes it upon his lowly self to protect a poorly cast President, Jamie Foxx, as the central nervous system of America is attacked. Assailants breach the multi-level security system of the White House with ambiguous disguises…Home theatre repairmen, really?
What ensues is a hurricane of testosterone charged action as Foxx transforms from professional, concerned politician to straight up gansta’, sporting Nike Kicks and slingin’ grenades in attempt to save the country, the world and little blogging superstar, Tatum’s daughter, Emily Cale.
Cue a limousine chase to rival a late night Cops rerun, rocket launchers, helicopters and a high-tech computer hack. Constant choreographed action littered with cringe-worthy comedic failures.
It seems director Roland Emmerich was a little confused, the movie teeters awkwardly between comedy and drama (neither of which seem to be a particular talent of Emmerich’s) with heinous one-liners delivered by unconvincing actors leaving the audience torn between the urge to laugh or cry. One viewer broke into a deep guffaw when America’s leader violently killed one of the ‘baddies’ with apparent slapstick ferocity, only to stifle his laughter when it was made clear that this was intended to be a heart-wrenching moment of personal discovery.
Emily Cale (Joey King) slightly lifts our hopes for the film with a few believable breakout scenes of impressive emotion. Unfortunately, the brief euphoria she inflicts does not improve the remaining unimpressive characters.
The film is idiotic and preposterous with a heavily flawed plot-line. If you’re looking for an intelligently scripted masterpiece of cinematography… this is not it. If you can overlook atrocious acting and a distinct lack of substance, it is a mindless, watchable popcorn popper that should only be used to pass time on lengthy international flights.
THE REEL SCORE: 4/10