Saturday, June 29, 2013

White House Down

Movie Name: White House Down
Year of Release: 2013
Director: Roland Emmerich
Stars: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Richard Jenkins, Jason Clarke, James Woods, Joey King, Nicolas Wright, Jimmi Simpson, Michael Murphy, Rachelle Lefevre, Lance Reddick, Matt Craven, Jake Webber, Peter Jacobson
Genre: Action
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 2

Director Roland Emmerich is back after his previous directorial effort, the sadly forgotten "Anonymous". "White House Down" follows the story of John Cale, a young father who is trying to get into the Secret Services and be assigned to the President's protection group. John is trying to impress his daughter in the process, but coincidentally, the day of their visit to the White House, there's an attempt to highjack it and take the President hostage. John manages to avoid the President being captured, however his daughter is held captive. What follows is a tense game of hide and seek where John and President try to outsmart their captors and avoid a worldwide nuclear meltdown.
Roland Emmerich has always been a director who has primed for the creation of films that focus on big spectacle, films where the screenplay touches on instantly recognizable plot points. His interest lies in the spectacle that can be achieved with stories that deal with the imminent destruction of popular and iconic locales - he has achieved that in films such as "Godzilla", "The Day After Tomorrow" and "2012". Sadly "White House Down" embeds itself in all possible cliches that have been touched and devised by previous action films, such as John McTiernan's "Die Hard", without any of the inventiveness that have characterized them. The film has pacing issues, and the screenplay offers nothing to the wonderful cast that was assembled to do. James Woods, Jason Clarke and Richard Jenkins, all gifted actors are simply playing cardboard characters, the same can be said for Maggie Gyllenhaal. The one actor who seems to enjoy the whole ride is Channing Tatum, who wears his character with an ironic smirk. A missed opportunity for Roland Emmerich to build a smart action film.