White House Down
Time Out says
Olympus has fallen again! A seemingly mundane day for US President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx) turns near-apocalyptic when hostile forces blow up the Capitol building and take over the White House. The TV talking heads start pontificating: could it be those damn Arabs? Nope, merely a group of disgruntled American militants led by a traitorous government operative (James Woods), who are out for vengeance and a huge payday. Fortunately, low-rung Secret Service agent John Cale (Channing Tatum) is on the premises. He quickly teams up with the more-resourceful-than-he-looks POTUS, and both of ’em start showing these unpatriotic bastards a bullet-riddled thing or two.
There should be a special kind of charge in seeing even a fictional leader of the free world brandishing a comically oversize rocket launcher (expect plenty of “O-BLAM!-a” memes to surface on ye ol’ Interwebz). But director Roland Emmerich has been to this self-mockingly jingoistic well way too often. What played as rousingly dumb fun in Independence Day (1996) – all those pie-eyed nationalistic monologues, and US landmarks reduced to rubble – now come off as callously insensitive, even with tongue firmly in cheek. It doesn’t help that all the action scenes, as with many modern Hollywood blockbusters, are seemingly edited with a Cuisinart, or that the copious CGI would barely pass muster in one of those Asylum DTV quickies. Cheap, shoddy, dull, instantly forgettable – this is the America, and American cinema, we know all too well.
Cast and crew