“White House Down” was directed by Roland Emmerich who is known for his films such as “Independence Day”, “2012”, “The Patriot” & the 1998 version of “Godzilla”. The film stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Richard Jenkins, James Woods, Jason Clarke, Joey King and Lance Reddick. The film was heavily compared to “Olympus Has Fallen” which has almost the exact same plot and came out 3 months later.
Tension begin to rise after President James Sawyer (Foxx) makes a proposal to remove all military forces from the Middle East in order make a peace offering rather than go to war. Meanwhile, former Capital police officer, John Cale (Tatum) is hoping to impress his young daughter Emily (King) by interviewing for the Secret Service. While Emily is on a tour of the White House, John meets Deputy Secret Service agent, Carol Finnerty (Gyllenhaal) who also happens to be an old college acquaintance of John’s. Despite a good word from the Speaker of the House, Eli Raphelson (Jenkins), Carol denies John’s application. As John is about leave, a bomb explodes inside the White House. A team of heavily armed mercenaries have taken over the White House. Most shocking of all, the Head of the Secret Service, Martin Walker (Woods) is the one leading the attack. With him is former Delta Force soldier Emil Stenz (Clarke) and more of ex military and an world renowned hacker. Emily and the rest of the tour are held up in the White House, Cale begins to pick off the mercenaries while trying to find the President who is being held in emergency operations room. Cale managed to save Sawyer but is blindsided by the fact that the mercenaries have his daughter. Cale & Sawyer must work together to save the hostages and stop Walker and the mercenaries from starting World War 3.
After seeing “Olympus Has Fallen”, this film had come across as campy, cheesy and very cliche. This was mediocre film. It does have some great action sequences and solid performances from Tatum and Foxx who are actually great together. Other than those 2, this movie is ok. While “Fallen”, was much more darker & grittier, this movie went the action comedy route which causes clashing tones that don’t always mesh well. I hate to keep comparing this film to Fallen but its kind of hard when they come out at the same time. But we’ve seen movies do this before such as Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life” & Dreamwork’s “Antz” or Sony’s “Venom” & Blumhouse’s “Upgrade” or even Seth Rogan’s “Observe & Report” and Kevin James’ “Paul Blart: Mall Cop”. Movies with very similar plots just told in different ways.
After “White House Down” bombed at the box office, its counterpart went on to become a trilogy. Channing Tatum appeared in 4 films in 2013 alone, including this one, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”, “Don Jon” & “This Is The End”. He continued his roles in the sequels to “Magic Mike” & “21 Jump Street”. Jamie Foxx appeared in 2014’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, 2017’s “Baby Driver” and 2018’s “Robin Hood”. Roland Emmerich would go on to direct 2017’s “Independence Day: Resurgence” and 2019’s “Midway”.