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Published September 1st 2013
The Eagle has landed and gotten himself into a bit of a flap
We all know what we're going to get when it comes to a good ol' American action blockbuster; extreme explosions, intense fight scenes, dynamic special effects and a nice healthy helping of cheesy goodness. No, no, I haven't gotten distracted and started talking about pizza, I'm talking about the cheese factor. A fair few corny lines, drawn-out gazes and completely unrealistic outcomes to even more unrealistic events. That being said, those are kind of the exact reasons that keep us going back time and time again to see these cliché-ridden films. White House Down, directed by Roland Emmerich, who directed such films as Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, may be somewhat of a rehash of other action films (Olympus Has Fallen comes to mind) but you just put that aside and enjoy the edge of your seat ride it takes you on for those couple of hours.
In White House Down we meet John Cale (Channing Tatum), a U.S Capitol Police officer assigned to the security detail of the Speaker of the House. He is grateful for his job, but has aspirations to join the Secret Service and protect James W. Sawyer (Jamie Foxx), the President of the United States of America. John's other equally important focus is developing a stronger relationship with this daughter Emily (Joey King), a political enthusiast. Upon securing an interview with the Secret Service, conducted by Carol Finnerty (Maggie Gyllenhaal), he also acquires a couple of passes to take a tour of the White House with his daughter, who is ecstatic about the opportunity.
Needless to say, the tour doesn't quite go to plan when a rogue paramilitary group infiltrates and violently takes over the White House, putting the President's safety and the country's international relationships in jeopardy. John Cale takes on the unimaginable task and responsibility of protecting the President and consequently, saving the world. If he's looking to prove he's got what it takes, then this would be a pretty definitive test.
Copious amounts of mayhem, explosions, unadulterated action and patriotism ensues, not to mention a few twists and turns in the plot to keep you guessing.
White House Down hasn't reinvented the wheel, but it certainly delivers on all the electrifying action you need to make it watchable. Channing Tatum is fast becoming a film favourite; he's charming, down-to-earth and you know, named the sexiest man alive and what not. His on-screen chemistry with Jamie Foxx (who has just as many appealing traits going for him), is highly entertaining and creates plenty of humorous moments shared between them. They bounce off each other well and the supporting cast really pull their weight. The acting is totally acceptable, you just have to remember that they have no choice but to spout the corny lines written for them.
A few highlights for me were actually found with Donnie the White House Tour Guide (Nicolas Wright), who is adorable and endearing with a few one-liners of his own, and Skip Tyler (Jimmi Simpson) a computer hacker involved with the paramilitary group. You may recognise Jimmi Simpson from one of my favourite TV shows, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, where he plays one of the completely creepy McPoyle brothers, Liam McPoyle. It seems his talent lies in portraying eccentric, menacing and rather unique characters, to put it nicely.
White House Down is packed with action to keep your eyes glued to the screen, and whether you're laughing with the characters or at them, you'll be laughing. It's worth a look for those up for some pure action entertainment. Look past the compulsory American cheesiness, I did and utterly enjoyed my time at the White House, so hopefully you can too.