Twice in its history the White House has been destroyed and rebuilt. Since the last time it was rebuilt, the iconic building has seen its share of threats both in real life and in Hollywood. In “White House Down,” costars Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx work together to keep America’s most famous house intact.
Tatum plays John Cale, a police officer in charge of protecting the Speaker of the House when armed mercenaries take over the White House. From then on, along with President Sawyer (played by Foxx) and the rest of the building’s occupants, Cale himself becomes a hostage.
Also trapped inside are Cale’s daughter and Carol Finnerty, Cale’s college friend who doesn’t think Cale has what it takes to be in the Secret Service. Cale has a chance to prove himself when the White House is terrorized, but the stakes are high — he can’t find his daughter, and the president’s protective servicemen are dropping like flies.
Vice President Hammond, played by Michael Murphy, is sworn in as acting president when Sawyer is presumed dead. However, Sawyer isn’t dead — he’s been found by Cale, and the two men decide to work together.
With “Olympus Has Fallen” and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” hitting theaters earlier this year, “White House Down” had some competition at the box office. What made “White House Down” refreshing was a new kind of villain. Audiences are used to seeing Russia, China and the Middle East featured as the antagonists in our political action flicks, but this time it’s different. When being attacked by the people who are supposed to protect, it’s harder to know who to trust.
“White House Down” was filled with the traditional never-ending fight scenes that we’ve come to expect in today’s action movies. Explosions are big, and the guns never run out of bullets, however sitting through this movie was no hostage situation. The only frustrating part of the movie was trying to keep track of the villains and the body count.
“White House Down” knows its genre, and it does a good job of inviting us along for the explosive ride.
3.5 out of 5 stars.