Movie Review: White House Down (Confirmed: Great and a 1/2)

You have to admire Director Roland Emmerich's disastrous way of wishing American audiences a happy 4th of July!

      Besides family cookouts and fireworks I don’t know if anything says the 4th of July or Summer time in America quite like a Roland Emmerich disaster film.  During this time of the year we are very mindful and thankful for our brave men and women in uniform who make the ultimate sacrifice and protect the country we love so much so we can enjoy the simple things in life, such as watching said country get blown up time and time again on the big screen as we bask in A/C.  So was White House Down something we should be thankful for this Independence Day weekend? Find out after the break…

The Battle for the White House 2013, easily goes to White House Down  over Olympus Has Fallen!

     Make no mistake White House Down is the superior White House destruction film of 2013. (Sorry Olympus Has Fallen!)  As in most of his films, in White House Down director Roland Emmerich ratchets up the action and destruction to unprecedented levels as an all star cast works to find and fight their way through the madness all made possible by this film’s $150 million budget.  It's the type of budget studios have been giving Emmerich since Independence Day in 1996, and in White House Down Emmerich makes his most effective use of a large budget since ID4.  

It sure seems like Jamie Foxx was channeling his inner Barack Obama for this film!

     The stars aligned for White House Down in big way providing characters and character moments that make the destruction of Washington DC all the more tension filled.  Channing Tatum used his character of John Cale as a vehicle that could elevate him to one of the premiere action stars of this decade, if he chooses to gear his career in that direction.  On the other side of the films unconventional relationship Jamie Foxx gives audiences a likable and relatable fictitious President of the United States in the form of James Sawyer who can easily be taken as a Barack Obama allegory, but in a very entertaining way.  James Sawyer is another of the eclectic roles Jamie Foxx has taken on in the past couple of years, which have seen the former Academy Award winner play an iconic cowboy in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and the world’s worst hit man in surprise hit comedy Horrible Bosses.  

After White House Down director Roland Emmerich can rest easy on his throne as king of the disaster movie!

     Ultimately is White House Down the type of bloated, overly patriotic, and overly sentimental disaster film audiences would expect from Roland Emmerich in a 4th of July release? Yes, but it manages to be done so well! At times you will feel like you are sitting in a theater in the mid 90’s, which is the fun of White House Down.  It's a disaster film that doesn't take itself too seriously, but instead takes its audience on a theme park style thrill ride.  Audiences of today have been spoiled by big superhero action films, but if this film were released 15 years ago it would have been a smash hit similar to ID4. In the end, White House Down may be nothing more than Roland Emmerich’s love letter to a sub-genre he helped create, but I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this sentimental and patriotic time of year!

Confirmed: Great and a 1/2


  1. Good review, Brad. I certainly would not have rated this film as highly as you, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It's not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, but considering it's genre and purpose, it was entertaining. It was certainly silly at times and perhaps even a bit cheesey, but you're right: it absolutely reminded me of one of the patriotic action films of the 90's. It was a really fun way to spend the morning of the 4th and my dad (a veteran) was able to see it with my mother for free due to the Sony promotion.


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