Columbia Pictures’ White House Down is an action/thriller that seems way too similar to Olympus Has Fallen, released in late March of this year, so for that reason I would not recommend paying full price for this film at the theater. That is not to say I do not recommend viewing this film with a screenplay written by James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider-Man) and directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day), both also serving as producers. Quite the contrary; it is entertaining to a degree, in some scenes, but it can be rather boring in other scenes that most viewers will be able to easily predict – especially if the viewer has already seen the White House being attacked in other films. What will keep the viewer engaged are the amazing established and well known actors and some of the humor that Vanderbilt has sprinkled into the screenplay.
Richard Jenkins and James Woods are two excellent veteran actors that lend some credibility to the film and provide excellent performances, along with Maggie Gyllenhaal, whose work I have admired in several films. Channing Tatum (actor/Executive Producer) and Jamie Foxx work well together in the film as Capitol Policeman and U. S. President, respectively, but I cannot say it is an award winning performance for either. They do have some moments in the film where they get to know each other and share what it is like to have a daughter. Joey King stars as Emily, daughter to Tatum’s character and turns in a great performance in this film as a feisty preteen who follows the political world and uses technology to an advantage. At one point in the film, it becomes a disadvantage as a member of the armed paramilitary group, led by Jason Clarke’s character, discovers who she is and what she has done.
In White House Down, Capitol Policeman John Cale (Tatum) is in the White House on business and is also entertaining his daughter Emily (King) by going on a tour with her of one of her favorite places. While he is not employed with the Secret Service to protect President James Sawyer (Foxx), Cale finds himself thrown into the chaos when the complex is overtaken. He is now responsible for finding his daughter, saving the president and doing what is needed for this country.
Although this film is rated PG-13 by the MPAA, there is plenty of gun violence and explosions that some viewers may find hard to bear when government employees try to defend themselves from this horrible attack and destruction.