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White House Down a fun distraction full of s’plosions

Paul Peterson

Paul Peterson

OK, so in the middle of a crazy summer and a crazy weekend I took the time to watch White House Down.
You may have enjoyed this film the first time it was released and called Die Hard; then earlier this year Olympus Down; then another time when it was The Rock.
Then again all art is derivative so why not just dive right in?

I really enjoyed this film.
Jamie Foxx plays the very hip, very capable president Sawyer. Seems like a very personable guy except he’s rubbed a few people the wrong way. Then there’s Cale, starring Channing Tatum, a guy who seems destined to wear sleeveless T shirts for the rest of his life. He just happens to be taking his very hip, very bombastic disillusioned teenage daughter Emily  for a tour of the White House. She’s not disillusioned with the President, just her dad.

As luck and the script would have it, Tatum has been denied a position guarding the President because Finnerty (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal) who looks after this kind of thing, didn’t think he was White House material. Oh yes, she’ll rue the day.
Then there’s Walker the crazy former chief of staff played with manic energy by the sometimes interesting James Woods.
He’s gone rogue and allowed a bunch of crazed armed mercenaries into the White House.
In a short period of time they seize hostages and pretty much take over command central.
We’re not sure whether this is about ideology or cash. There seems to be arguments on both sides. While there is a lot going on and the action is strong, this actually has a story and a few nice surprises.

Things like seeing the bad guys shoot down a commercial airline. I’ve seen it four times and it’s still incredibly chilling.
At one point Cale and the president bust out of the White House and are trying to escape the grounds in the presidential limo. It’s one of the best action sequences I’ve seen in a while. It’s clever and creative and allows more story because they’re not locked into the same old setting .We know there has to be another highly placed bad guy to pull all of this off because there’s a lot of crazy high level stuff going on.
My first guess was the vice-president but he dies soon enough. Then the focus is on who takes over from him. As it turns out, according to the constitution, it’s the speaker of the house played by Richard Linklater.
I won’t spoil it.
Here’s the deal:
My biggest complaint is that they make these films too busy too loud and too lacking in detail and story. White House Down manages to avoid those pitfalls and the result is a fun distraction that runs a little long at two hours but if you like your movies with some s’plosions and stuff then this is a good way to kill a couple of hours.
I had to chuckle.
I always poll my customers to see if they liked it and I talked to a friend who said he liked it, but his wife thought it was a little too American.
The movie’s called White House Down.
You do the math.
I liked it and I recommend it.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson

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