Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

White House Down


So, Olympus has fallen again, has it? How exciting, but come on people – you’re all going to have to calm down on producing these movies about the White House being blown up, corrupted – because somewhere out there, you probably have a bunch of Al Qaeda followers taking notes.. 

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So here we are. Present day America, and hunky John Cale (a U.S. Capitol Police officer) is struggling to keep the ‘father-daughter’ relationship going with his only child. He hopes to impress her by gaining employment within the Secret Service, however his hopes are dissolved almost immediately when the woman interviewing him (a former college acquaintance) fails him for his slack approach and lack of respect for authority. After leaving the interview, John lies to his daughter Emily about the outcome – and then they both join a tour of the White House.

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Minutes later, at the U.S. Capitol building, all is calm. Happy tourists are wandering around, snapping photos. ..and then a janitor wheels his cleaning trolley into the middle of the main hall. And an almighty explosion tears the place apart…

Ok, first up – the special effects.  They were the highlight of the movie – from the opening scene where helicopters swim through a purple sky at dawn, through to the White House bursting into flames. We certainly get our fair share of these effects, mixed with constant action which gives the feature a good flow. On the down side, White House Down is nothing short of tame; its almost as if the director took the whole Olympus Has Fallen premise, and made a joke out of it, destroying the U.S. Capitol building & White House “just because we can” kind of thing.

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And of course, our Hugh Grant of Hollywood – Mr Tatum. Naturally, he excels in this movie and steps up his talents in order to play… himself. (yes – I was being sarcastic) He’s ripped (Magic Mike), dressed to kill (The Vow), which later turns into a nice white vest & combats outfit (Step-Up), whilst he wisecracks (21 Jump Street) his way through this movie (everything else).  I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie where Channing Tatum doesn’t play himself – or use any acting skill to form a genuine character besides that classic square-headed, pouty ex-marine kid we endure time and time again.

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In all honesty, Channing reminds me of the classic kid at school – you know the sexy male all the girls (and a few of the guys) lust after, who manages to totally wing it in Drama class purely because his hunky appearance totally outweighs his inability to pull off any acting. And naturally, the class erupts in applause at the end of the school play when he takes his bow – because “it’s Channing. We love Channing”

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The humour never falters in this movie; you get your fair share of ‘LOL’ moments – which quickly turn serious again (given the circumstances I suppose) and there is one character who stands out:  The Tour Guide – this seemingly straight-laced geeky chap jumps from zero to hero within minutes. At the beginning of the movie he’s precious about the preservation of the ornaments & treasures of the White House.. towards the end, we see him bludgeon one of the bad guys with an antique golden clock.

Hats off to Joey King (who plays Emily Cale, John’s daughter) who displays brilliant acting throughout. She actually looks a bit like Channing too (unnervingly)

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Overall, White House Down delivers its audience some action-fuelled mini ‘epic’ moments; secret tunnel chases, the President’s limousine tearing through the White House Gardens, explosive rooftop fights and spinning helicopters. It manages to pack everything into its time on screen, but its storyline and general vibe is nothing short of tame. (I noticed 3 or 4 audience members exited the auditorium before the feature actually finished)

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And again, Channing is – well.. himself. Same old, same old.

..oh, but its OK. “it’s Channing. We love Channing”

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Don’t pay to see this movie. Just rent it (if low price)


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This entry was posted on September 15, 2013 by .
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