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    July 7, 2013

    MOVIE REVIEW: WHITE HOUSE DOWN

    White House is under attack again! Barely three months after some sophisticated and pretentious ultra-left Koreans attacked the supposedly world's most fortified building in the world, now comes a domestic terrorist group to repeat the threat against the symbol of the nation. In this replicate move that mimics the reason why there were two Snow White movies last year, Hollywood is again dishing out two similarly themed-movies in a short span of time - about the destruction of White House. Probably it does not come by coincidence that Olympus Has Fallen (OHF) is a war-fare from the views of Republican while the latest is a revenge-containing situation from the eyes of the Democrats. Or probably not, but it just looks to carry that way. But it will always be interesting to compare the existence of two.



    Genre: Action/Adventure
    Classification: P13
    Release Date: 27 June 2013
    Running Time: 137 minutes
    Distributor: Sony Pictures
    Director: Roland Emmerich
    Screenplay: James Vanderbilt
    Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, James Woods

    Plot: The White House is under siege in this action thriller from Independence Day director Roland Emmerich and The Amazing Spider-Man's writer James Vanderbilt in this Sony Pictures release. Channing Tatum stars.
    Even when the major theme looks similar, White House Down (WHD) is very distinguished from OHF. The movie centres on John Cale (Channing Tatum) whose life is pretty much about reconnecting with his estranged daughter Emily (Joey King) and to dedicate his life to serve in the Secret Service. President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx) recently courted controversy over his plan for peace treaty between the allied countries to remove military forces from the Middle East. John brings Emily to his job interview with the Secret Service in an attempt to impress her, but they get trapped and separated inside the White House when a bomb explosion at the centre of U.S. Capitol initiates the lockdown of the former building. It becomes clearer later that the explosion is a part of ongoing attack to abduct the President and to sabotage the peace plan. Amidst the chaos, John is determined to find Emily but is instantly caught in a situation that requires him to save the President.

    By this time, it seems imminent that the plot is going to be as cliché as OHF and as formulaic as any other action flicks from the past. Instead of that, I generally find WHD to be more entertaining, fun and rich in dimensional as compared to OHF. The straight forward storylines are easily accessible and throws in a great deal of actions from the 80s and 90s. Surely this is not going to be as classy as Bruce Willis’ Die Hard or Harrison Ford’s Air Force One but the decision to mix plenty of serviceable action sequences with occasionally laughable-yet-workable comedic moments is crucial. It allows the movie to take itself on a lighter side (OHF is pretty dark and serious most of the time) while we constantly treated with ample bombardment of politics and heavy military presence somewhere in between.

    The key to enjoy this movie actually relies not only on the fun ride and cool set pieces, but also heavily solidified by great on-screen chemistry between Tatum and Foxx. Tatum's take on the role of kicking-ass in the same capacity as what Gerard Butler did in OHF is similarly sufficient and highly pragmatic. By adding in a hipster president who is embodied perfectly by Foxx, it results in a weird but comfortable tag team to suit the summer popcorn blast.

    No doubt, the plot is not the strongest element for WHD. But James Vanderbilt's (The Amazing Spiderman) treatment on the script infuses a great deal of more acceptable and realistic hierarchy geopolitical and military tactical than OHF. What's more surprising is that WHD has less plot-hole too. Director Roland Emmerich certainly knows how to make this movie, just like his past movies, to be silly. He embraces the silliness but there is something that sets WHD apart – that is its high entertainment value.

    In the end, White House Down is a silly action summer movie that may not be able to offset the classics in Die Hard, but it offers a great entertainment thanks to the great action sequences, comedic moments and excellent on-screen chemistry of Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx.

    MY RATING:
    Story: 3.5
    Casts: 4.5
    Cinematography: 4.0
    Effects: 4.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 15.6/20.0



    White House Down
    Last Reviewed by Bernard Patrick Chung on July 6 2013
    Rating: 3.5


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