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Monday, 16 September 2013
REVIEW: WHITE HOUSE DOWN
Olympus Has Fallen Again.
131 Minutes. Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gylenhaal, Jason Clarke, Joey King, Richard Jenkins & James Woods. Director: Roland Emmerich.
Ok, candidates there's a new Presidential race on in Washington D.C. It was fitting that 'Law Abiding Citizen' was on television the other night as this year Gerald Butler and Jamie Foxx go head-to-head once again in their fight for the White House...albeit in different movies. After Butler defended former Gotham City candidate Aaron Ekchart's president in 'Olympus Has Fallen' while one-time president of 'Deep Impact' Morgan Freeman looked on, Jamie Foxx now proves himself a worthy election as a peaceful and powerful president in this Obama changed world. Foxx may not be playing Barack or have the Will Smith ears to do so in a maybe forthcoming Spike Lee biopic, but the man who unchained Big Will's 'Django' role (Smith was offered but committed to 'Men In Black 3') shows some parallels. We aren't making this a race issue either, this President wants to be the next Lincoln (or maybe a fictional 'West Wing' Martin Sheen one) and whatever he is, he sure is a good one in a great way to end a big blockbuster Summer season of superhero and Sci-fi smash, red hot movies
Now Channing Tatum may not be Bruce Willis, but here the Hollywood hunk dons the string vest to show the next Willis in Gerard Butler that he can protect the President too, even if he didn't get that secret service job. The man who's career really took off with '21 Jump Street' shows he has action smarts as well as acting ones and that funny bone. More than just romantic comedy fodder or the 'Side Effect's of shaking it for change in a Steven Soderbergh picture (for the record we loved both the aforementioned and yes, shamefully 'Magic Mike'), Tatum mans up like that Simpsons boxer character of the same name punch for punch. He shows he's a heavyweight talent and his charisma and hilarious, brotherhood bond chemistry with President Foxx (for more search 'Channing all over your Tatum'...I know right!?) and his Air Force Jordan's are inspired. Straight out of the Foxxhole and into the line of fire, Jamie shows that the singer/actor is still one of the best in a year full of leading men candidates.
All this presidents picture men are brilliant too. From valuable veterans like James Woods and Richard Jenkins, to a gang of perfect psycho criminals led by 'Lawless', 'The Great Gatsby' star and next great character actor Jason Clarke and perfectly peculiar camped up computer nerd gone 90's bad Jimi Simpson. There's even a smart, cute kid, (Joey King) a die-hard but easy on the muscles, White House tour guide (Nicholas Wright) and many more action staples, including Maggie Gylenhaal's presidential aid that really could have helped her old 'Dark Knight' flame and 'Olympus Has Fallen' president. That would leave her in the wrong-albeit good movie-this one may have been the chicken to Olympus' egg, but it still shows the White House can fall just as good here. 'Olympus' has not sent it down. Between bullet rounds of action and an ammunition of comedy, 'WHD' has turned an inconvenient release to it's one-upped advantage. Man this film is cheesy, but boy do they know it and you'll love it. If you missed those big, bold Hollywood hot blockbusters of the 90's than this one should get your vote.
'Independence Day's' Roland Emmerich sure knows how to blow up the White House again...and pay homage albeit to himself. Still the man who gave us '2012' and 'The Day After Tomorrow' is not facing the end of his career as we know it...and he's doing R.E.M. fine. He's even taking a reboot return trip through the 'Stargate' three times over. That could be thanks to the dividends paid here by him throwing big bucks, explosions and everything into this film that makes your perfect popcorn Friday night whether in cinemas or DVD players. As this film goes nuclear that comedy jokes match the action jukes from back-seat rocket launchers to front lawn mowing down gardening. It's refreshing that a film about a critical issue doesn't take itself too seriously, bloody or brutal. What results is a film that takes off instead of being a scud missile. None of the action misfires and once this film takes itself to task it can be forgiven for being cheesy. This 'Die Hard' meets 'Air Force One' 'Rock' tight and tribute affair is all action, comedy and some heart as the White House has never looked or gleamed better. Washington, the city beautiful has never looked quite the picture as well, from the moving monuments to the magnificent mall. Sure, especially after 'Olympus Has Fallen' this film may be a rolling cliché, but it's an even more entertaining one. When it comes to pure popcorn movies for your excitement the ever likeable Channing and Jamie step it up for 'White House Down'. Now in this Hollywood, heavyweight, billboard boxing match the only question is, has Olympus fallen to Foxx and Tatum?.TIM DAVID HARVEY.