A scant three months after Gerard Butler waged a one-man war against White House invaders in Olympus Has Fallen, it feels as though we’re revisiting some remarkably familiar territory with White House Down, which sees Channing Tatum as a Capitol policeman… waging a one-man war… against White House invaders. Actually, it’s probably more accurate to call this a two-man war, as it doesn’t take long for Tatum to join forces with the President of the United States (Jamie Foxx) to take down the bad guys.
[pullquote_left]Reminiscent of 80s action fare, complete with scenery-chomping villains and a seemingly indestructible hero. [/pullquote_left]The first trailers painted this film as a grim, melancholy tale of America in its darkest hour, and serves as a shining example of the complete disconnect between filmmakers and marketing teams. White House Down is stuffed to the gills with explosions, shootouts, and wisecracks, and feels reminiscent of 80s action fare like Die Hard or Lethal Weapon, complete with scenery-chomping villains and a seemingly indestructible hero that continually defies impossible odds.
Tatum and Foxx have great charisma together, and their non-action scenes are some of the most enjoyable moments in the film. But this is still a summer shoot-em-up, and if bullets were ticket sales, this film would break box office records. Destruction porn auteur Roland Emmerich shows a remarkable amount of restraint here, dialing back the CG in favor of a more contained approach – although things get a little bit silly during the third act, and Emmerich can’t resist a cheeky nod to his own work during an early scene (you’ll know it when it happens).
[pullquote_right]A great throwback to the sort of action films Hollywood seems to have forgotten about.[/pullquote_right]If you’re in the mood for an exciting and humorous caper with a pair of likeable stars and plenty of gunfire, you could do a lot worse than White House Down. It’s a great throwback to the sort of action films that Hollywood seems to have forgotten about, and further cements Tatum’s status as a bankable leading man.