It’s been a lamentable summer at the multiplex: inferior sequels, unwanted remakes and lazy adaptations have been the order of the day. So thank the movie gods for Roland ‘Independence Day’ Emmerich, one of the last Hollywood filmmakers who still knows what the people want, and how to give it to them. ‘White House Down’ doesn’t have the slightest interest in reinventing the action genre. But if all you’re after is a pair of mismatched heroes wisecracking their way through a series of explosive, well-mounted set pieces, look no further. Channing Tatum plays John Cale (not that one, music geeks), a wannabe Secret Service agent whose job interview goes spectacularly off the rails when terrorists attack the White House and take the president (Jamie Foxx) hostage. The outcome may be pre-ordained, but Emmerich’s knack for a witty pop-culture reference, a pulse-pounding gun battle or a sneaky political undercurrent (the film has drawn fire in the US for being leftie propaganda) hasn’t deserted him. The result is one of the few genuinely satisfying Friday night flicks of 2013.
Cast and crew