Tuesday, 25 June 2013

WHITE HOUSE DOWN - Review By Greg Klymkiw - Magnificently Stupid American Propaganda Just 4 U

White House Down (2013) ****
dir. Roland Emmerich
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Michael Murphy, Joey King, Nicolas Wright

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Gee whiz, I thought Olympus Has Fallen was stupid and entertaining. Well, leave it to SF-Action-Disaster specialist Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) to serve up an entire football stadium-sized trough of STUPID and deliver one of the best-directed and almost criminally entertaining action movies of the year. Though the former picture beat White House Down to the punch in terms of release dates for the terrorists-taking-over-the-American-symbol-of-might genre, Emmerich has little to worry about. His film wins the sweepstakes hands-down.

It's a potent cocktail.

A hunky loser (Channing Tatum) in need of redemption who's just turned down for a Secret Service job by the she's-got-eyes-for-him commanding officer (Maggie Gyllenhall) is wandering through the White House with his sullen, estranged 14-year-old daughter (Joey King) when terrorists attack. The Obama-like President (Jamie Foxx) is about to pull all the troops out of the Middle East and on the verge of a major peace accord, so he clearly has to be stopped. A rogue retiring Secret Service Chief (James Woods) assembles a crew of the most foul ex-military psychos-with-chips-on-their-shoulders led by everyone's favourite torture specialist from Zero Dark Thirty (Jason Clarke) and before you can say "BOOYAH!!!" all Hell breaks loose.

To make matters a bit worse, a toady VP (Michael Murphy) and a Right Wing House Speaker (Richard Jenkins) are both eager to seize the reins of power and restore the world to America's rightful place as a supporter of the war industry. Not only does Channing have to save the President and his daughter, but the entire world.

You'll never guess if he accomplishes ANY of this unless you see the movie, though you can probably lay down pretty even odds on the likelihood that he will. Tatum and President Jamie Foxx team up like some hybrid of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon and those nasty terrorists wish they'd been cut-to-ribbons during their previous tours of duty in Afghanistan.

Carnage ensues.

Emmerich directs several phenomenal action set pieces with the skill of a true master. In spite of knowing where every second of this movie was going, I found myself on the edge of my seat several times thanks to Emmerich's solid, old-fashioned helmsmanship of the breathtaking action scenes. I will also admit to joining the audience in spontaneous applause when:

(a) the President hoists a rocket launcher and lets rip;

(b) when the President unloads several rounds of automatic gunfire into a terrorist;

(c) when Tatum commandeers the President's limo for a spectacular chase scene on the White House grounds;

(d) when Tatum and Jason Clarke go mano a mano in one of the best directed hand-to-hand fights in many years;

(e) when a character least likely to do so (even less likely than the President or the little girl) brutally bludgeons a terrorist to death with a very cool White House heritage relic and then brandishes high power firearms;

(f) and last, but not least, when the plucky little girl hoists a flag and - I kid you not - WAVES IT FURIOUSLY and with pride - to try and stop an air strike on the White House.

Like I said, this movie is stupid beyond belief.

And you won't want to miss it!!!

"White House Down" is in major wide release all over the world.