It’s summer and Independence Day is right around the corner. That means it’s time for another Roland Emmerich blockbuster. This week, the director returns to theaters with White House Down. It’s an action-fest that makes an unsuspecting Channing Tatum the sole protector of the President of the United States.

The Players:

  • Director: Roland Emmerich
  • Screenwriter: James Vanderbilt
  • Cast: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Joey King, Lance Reddick, Jimmi Simpson, Matt Craven, Rachelle Lefevre, Nicolas Wright, Kevin Rankin, Jake Weber
  • Cinematography by: Anna Foerster
  • Original Music by: Harold Kloser and Thomas Wander

The Plot:

John Cale (Channing Tatum) is an aspiring Secret Service agent, who’s denied the job of his dreams. While taking his daughter on a tour of the White House, the building’s attacked by mercenaries. As the President’s (Jamie Foxx) team is picked off one-by-one, Cale becomes his only hope for survival.

The Good:

  • Channing Tatum: Tatum carries this film on his shoulders with little to no effort. He’s come a long way as an actor, and it shows. As John Cale, he echoes Die Hard’s John McClane and Independence Day’s Steven Hiller. He’s a likeable hero who has heart and can kick butt.
  • Action: White House Down is a summer movie directed by Roland Emmerich. Therefore, you expect big action set pieces. This isn’t the first time Emmerich’s destroyed the White House so he had to get creative and he does. He puts it through the wringer. The lawn, the pool house, nothing is safe from his destruction.
  • Humor: Don’t let the trailer fool you, White House Down is hilarious. Tatum and Foxx have a great rapport and great comedic timing. There are breaks in the script that allow for lighter moments. Even the villains crack jokes every once in a while. Despite the tough subject matter, the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s quite refreshing.

The So-So:

  • Jamie Foxx: It’s obvious that Foxx’s President Sawyer is modeled after President Obama. Everything from his hair cut to his speech pattern mimic the Commander-in-Chief. Foxx carries the role well, but the character isn’t solid. At times, it seems as if Sawyer takes a backseat to Foxx. There are moments when the actor’s real-life persona shines through more than the character he’s portraying.

The Bad:

  • Minor characters: White House Down has a large ensemble cast. For the most part, everyone serves a purpose. Screentime is evenly divided, except in the case of Rachelle Lefevre. The actress plays Cale’s ex-wife and the mother of his daughter. Her role seems hollow and almost unnecessary. They could have mentioned her offscreen and it wouldn’t have made a difference. She was a poorly fleshed out character.


White House Down isn’t perfect, but it’s extremely entertaining. Tatum and Foxx do a great job of keeping the audience engaged. Once again, Roland Emmerich’s doing what Roland Emmerich does best — blowing stuff up!

The Rating: 8/10

White House Down opens in theaters June 28.

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Will you be seeing White House Down this weekend?