Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Video review: "White House Down"
Big, dumb and fun – that’s the definition of what a good summer popcorn movie should be, and “White House Down” delivers on all counts. This big-budget thriller bombed hard at the box office, but now that it’s hitting video you’ve got the perfect chance to indulge in its schlocky charm.
Jamie Foxx plays President of the United States James Sawyer, in a thinly-veiled riff on our real-life POTUS. And Channing Tatum plays John Cale, a D.C. cop looking to break into the Secret Service. While on a job interview at the White House, it gets invaded by a pack of right-wing paramilitary types.
Cale gets to pose as Bruce Willis in the “Die Hard” movies, the lone do-gooder trapped in a confined space with nihilistic terrorists and a bunch of helpless captives – including his own young daughter (Joey King). Bloody mayhem ensues, and before long the wannabe guardian and the cat-cool president have teamed up to take out the bad guys.
Watching these two trade quips like a buddy-cop duo is both silly and sublime. Because the movie is in on the joke of how goofy it is, we’re invited to laugh along rather than at it.
To call the plot improbable is a compliment. It’s a totally absurd hodgepodge of gunfights and one-liners, culminating in a car chase around the White House grounds with RPGs flying hither and thither.
It may have all the plausibility of a teenager’s video game, but this movie is a total gas.
Video goodies are ample and lightweight, just like the movie. The DVD comes with four making-of featurettes, focusing on the two stars, supporting cast, stunts and director Roland Emmerich – a seasoned hand at flicks like this (“Independence Day”).
Opt for the Blu-ray version and you add a gag reel and nine more featurettes focusing on various aspects of production, including what it’s like to recreate the White House down to the smallest detail – and then blow it all up.