37. White House Down (PG-13) - Runtime: 131 minutes
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: James Vanderbilt
White House Down is basically Die Hard in the White House. And that's not a dis - this was a fantastic homage to the action classic. In fact, this movie was more Die Hard then the latest Die Hard movie! I don't understand why this movie hasn't gotten any love because it was a perfect summer action pick - it had a good sense of character, some fun humor and some great action as well!
Channing Tatum plays Cale (I was hoping they would spell his name like the leaf, but alas, Emmerich didn't bite on that pun-filled name), an Iraq war veteran who's looking to get into the secret service. On his trip to the White House for the interview, he lets his semi-distant, vlogging daughter come with him on a tour afterwards. Then all hell breaks loose when the White House becomes ground zero for a domestic terrorist takeover. There's no real big plot twists - it's up to Cale (and later him teaming up with the not-so-subtle Obama clone President Sawyer) to take care of business.
This movie is straight up Die Hard all the way - lots of little homages here and there to the original movie (elevator shafts, a Hans-Gruber-esque bad guy) and it's really, really fun to watch. There's enough humor mixed in with all the action and honestly, the I enjoyed watching the different characters have their own moment (the White House tour guide was just enough laughs without getting annoying).
The movie does really hammer home that they want this to be another Die Hard action franchise - I couldn't keep track of how many times they mentioned Cale's name (at least every five minutes). Which is cool with me - I'd love to see Tatum again taking on another all-hell-breaks-loose situation. The other part I thought was pretty clever was the use of different perspectives in the movie. In that the movie will show footage from the news cameras outside tracking the helicopters and cell phone videos recording what's going on. It was nice to show that if this would happen in real life, all eyes would be on the White House for damn sure.
A good action movie that knows its limitations, White House Down is pure fun - there's enough character development to get attached to Cale and his daughter but there's also a hella ton of explosions and crazy limosuine chase scenes and helicopters whizzing by to match. Totally worth watching.
Rating: See It!