The 2nd White House disaster movie of the year, White House Down is now available on Blu-ray/DVD.
At one point young Emily (Joey King, who seems to be in everything these days) screams through tears to the bad guys “My Daddy is going to put you in jail!” This is when you know for sure that Director Roland Emmerich, and writer James Vanderbilt have a clear idea what type of movie they are making. There are times when you think White House Down is being played straight, but then a line like this comes and you are like, yes, they really are yanking our chain.
There really is an advantage to being first out of the gate. Especially when it feels like I just saw, pretty much, this exact same movie less than two months ago. Back then, all those days ago, it was called Olympus Has Fallen. Beat by beat there is very little difference. Funny thing is, as cheesy as these two “Die Hard in the White House” films are; I enjoyed both of them for different reasons.
I was surprised that Emmerich actually took a more “serious” approach – at least in the beginning, before he realized what type of film he was making. Instead of an over the top balls out external invasion from foreign nationals, he used a more “stealthy” White House take over. The bad guys took over by using a couple of well-placed traitors on President Sawyer’s (Jamie Foxx) internal security team.
As shown in the movie, it is surprisingly “easy” to take over the White House. As the great Cobra Commander once told Serpenter, anyone can take over Washington, DC, it’s holding it that is hard. This is even more true when you have the under achieving ex-marine Cale (Channing Tatum) in the house. The main problem with this movie is at 2:15, it feels pretty long for what it is.
Unlike Olympus, it seemed like Emmerich got a lot aspects about Washington, geography correct. There is an hysterically funny and obviously CGI’ed shot of Blackhawk helicopters flying through Chinatown, right under the famous China Town banner (we DC critics got a kick out that because a lot of our screenings are next door to the iconic sign), then there was a funny, but accurate comment about Dupont Circle. So often people get DC geography wrong – even when the movies are filmed here, it was fun to see proper references.
I’m coming out of the closet, I LOVE Channing Tatum! He just seems to have so much fun in every role he does and no matter how bad the movie is, you just have to go with it. The chemistry between Tatum and Foxx settled in about halfway through the movie. Joey King (who seems to be in everything these days) was terrible as Cale’s daughter Emily; her character was just annoying and there is an over the top silly moment towards the end where she is waving and twirling a flag.
The fight choreography was well done it had the frenetic energy and chaos that you would expect to see in a real fight. Foxx was horribly miscast as the President and his weird makeup did not help. I’m not going to say that, objectively, White House Down is a “good” movie, but it is a fun popcorn flick. This is the type of movie I’ll probably watch a million times when it comes on HBO.
- Gag Reel (6 Min, HD)
- A Dynamic Duo (4 Min, HD)
- The Beast (5 Min, HD)
- Men of Action (3 Min, HD)
- The Full Arsenal (5 Min, HD)
- VFX Boundaries Down (3 Min, HD)
- The Inside Story (3 Min, HD)
- Presidential Treatment (4 Min, HD)
- Lights, Camera, Heart-Pumping Action (3 Min, HD)
- Roland Emmerich – Upping the Ante (5 Min, HD)
- Crashing The Oval Office (4 Min, HD)
- Drowning The Beast (3 Min, HD)
- Recreating The White House (9 Min, HD)
Blu-ray is partly Sony’s tech so I’m always disappointed when they don’t seem to put much effort into their Blu-ray releases. I’m not saying the picture and audio quality isn’t top notch but this Blu-ray feels lazy.
There are a LOT of featurettes included but they are so short that it becomes irritating cycling through them all to get maybe 1 or 2 minutes of real information. I would have preferred a straight 30 or 40-minute full-featured documentary and there’s a noticeable lack of participating by the actors.
Blu-ray is partly Sony’s tech so I’m always disappointed when they don’t seem to put much effort into their Blu-ray releases. It is a fun movie, but the Blu-ray is lacking.
- Movie – B+
- Video/Audio – B+
- Extras – C
Final Overall Grade – B