Nerdlocker Movie Review: White House Down


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Director Roland Emmerich, best known for his global catastrophe movies like Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012, brings us his latest explosion filled summer spectacle White House Down.

We are first introduced to President Sawyer played by Jamie Foxx (Ray, Django Unchained) who at this point of his career is a veteran in the film industry. He radiates a cool and collective character that so happens to be the leader of the free world; who is on the brink of pulling U.S. soldiers out of the Middle East. We also meet supporting cast members Maggie Gyllenhaal (Secretary, The Dark Knight) who is the security liaison for President Sawyer’s secret service detail, Richard Jenkins (Jack Reacher, Cabin in the Woods) who is the Speaker of the House and James Woods (Casino, Straw Dogs) who is the head director of the secret service.

Channing Tatum’s character is a former Marine/capitol police officer named John Cale. He is thrown into a scenario that seems too farfetched as he and his young daughter are caught in between a hostile takeover as paramilitary troopers led by Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) strategically inhabit the White House during Cale’s secret service job interview with Maggie Gyllenhaal.


During the whole melee his daughter Emily played by Joey King (Dark Knight Rises) is separated and Tatum proceeds as the one man army to find his daughter. Eventually Tatum and Foxx meet under the circumstances and must both work together in order to survive.

When I first heard about White House Down the first thing I thought was, didn’t we see this in Olympus Has Fallen. But going into this movie I knew any coincidences would be tossed out the window. Though Tatum and Foxx have a good chemistry together most of the film is just your average shoot em’ up action flick. Which is good for your summer viewing pleasures!

James Wood’s character is too predictable and Maggie Gyllenhaal seems out of place for someone who should be more in control then her character perceives. There was a few good one-liners from the main cast, supporting and even miniscule characters. Both Foxx and Tatum bring just enough comedic aspect into the film without taking away the continuity of all the insane destruction that the iconic 1600 Pennsylvania address suffers.


The over the top sequences have to be taken lightly, as the overall concept of the film is way too unbelievable. As the talk of this film was to be an homage to action films of the 80’s like Die Hard, the only thing they got right was the abundance of explosions and destruction you would expect from an Emmerich film.

Though I did enjoy this more than Olympus Has Fallen due to the comedic partnership of Tatum and Foxx as opposed to Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart’s more serious tone/dry humor of their film. The ending wasn’t as fulfilling as one would hope. When seeing this film, realize this is just your summer action film and just enjoy it for what it is. It’s as entertaining as a 2 hour movie about bullets, missiles and car chases can get. Nothing more, nothing less.

Rated PG-13 for: Intense Violence and Language
Run time: 131 minutes
After Credits Scene: None
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Fox, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Joey King, and James Woods.
Directed By: Roland Emmerich
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 2/ Acting: 2/ Directing: 3/ Visuals: 3
OVERALL: 2 out of 5 Nerdskulls

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