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Tuesday, 6 August 2013

White House Down

The first thing I'll say about this film is that it's not a film about the North Koreans taking over parts of America. Which is a good thing. 

To be fair, I've never understoof the whole deal with N.Korea invading America. N.Korea has an estimated population of 24.5 million. America has 314 million people. And I'm pretty sure American military tech is still better than N.Korea. So really, it just seems suicidal for N.Korea to invade. 

So if White House Down isn't about N.Koreans invading, what is it about? It's really about domestic terrorism. That's right, the terrorists aren't N.Koreans, they're not Chinese, they're not Arabs. They're home-grown Americans. So that's a plus point in my book. 

Quick plot summary. Channing is an ex-soldier who wants to become a Secret Service agent. He applies for the job, bringing his obnoxious 11 year old daughter with him when he does so and then shit happens and the white house is invaded and he has to help defend the president; Jamie Fox while they try to wait for people to rescue them. Except no one is coming. 

The plot was okay. I wouldn't call it great, but it's what you would expect from a film called White House Down. There are no great surprises, not even the identity of the main villain or his co-conspirator but the movie is decently fast-paced that you don't mind the cliche-ness of it all. The film is fairly funny, with a lot of one-liners and jokes flying around as Channing and Jamie try to survive while running away from the invaders. The two work surprisingly well together and are good enough actors that they really help to sell the film. However, the action scene during the last 1/2 hour of the movie do feel a bit draggy at times but other than that, it's an entertaining enough movie.

My only real issue would be with the daughter of Channing's character. Not only is she extremely annoying, but I find it hard to believe an 11 year old would even behave like that. Maybe it's a generation gap or something but I feel she would have been more believable if she was written as maybe 14-17 years older. Not to mention, she was pretty much damn useless in the movie and the one incident where she saves people pretty much feels like a scripted deus ec machina instead of being natural. Which is a pity because most of the other good characters in the show are pretty enjoyable, especially the tour director. The villains are pretty bland 2D characters but no one is paying any attention to them. 

Overall, I enjoyed the film. If I had to compare it with another recent White House film; The Fall of Olympus, I would give White House Down a higher rating. For one thing, the whole invasion by N.Koreans in TFoO didn't make sense to me. For another, I just felt the Fall of Olympus took itself too seriously and I didn't really get into it because you just didn't care that much for the characters in TFoO. They're merely walking plot devices for the action sequences to happen. They don't really grow through the film while at least in WHD, they do elaborate more on the characters backstory than they did in TFoO.