White House Down: A GIF Review
Oh right, Jimmi Simpson (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) is in this…and he is beautifully, brilliantly bonkers as an evil hacker! Of course his sociopath loves classical music and lollipops. Of course.
I'll be honest, for most of the action sequences—so like 90 minutes of a 130-minute movie—my scribbled notes are totally unintelligible. But to summarize:
Oh, you think Fast and the Furious 6 exhausted your appetite for crazy car chase scenes. White House Down scoffs at your presumption and raises you one BEAST.
Fun fact: When I was on set visit Tatum told us he wanted to do all his own stunts, even a very dangerous one that would require him to do a twenty-foot fall and land on his back. At the time, Emmerich was trying to talk him out of it and let Tatum's standby-stunt double do it. I watched for this moment to see if I could tell who took the fall, and it's definitely the stunt double. I'd recognize his trademark chin anywhere. He has the squarest jaw I'd seen since Contra.
As awesome as Channing Tatum is, it's exhilarating that his character is not the only hero here. President Sawyer is a peaceful man who can be pushed to war when the need arises. Little Emily Cale is one of the bravest girls action movies have ever seen, and even tour guide Donnie gets a couple of sweet one-liners, "Stop hurting my White House!" Please someone cast Nicolas Wright in many more things. Immediately. Thanks.
Oh shit. Emily is 11 years old and has been dealt some serious real talk from the President. This movie about the seat of power of the United States being in absolute jeopardy just got really dark.
In the dictionary, next to the definition of "overkill" should be a still from the scene where Cale kills the baddie with a Gatling gun at close range. After the definition it should read: "Also see: amazeballs."
I had heard over and over on my set visit that White House Down's race from script to screen was a testament to James Vanderbilt's screenplay, and now I see why. Every setup from the first act has found payoffs, and satisfying ones at that! Even the seemingly throwaway line about Emily's flag-twirling skills has its place. All kidding aside, White House Down may be the best-written action movie of the year. But moreover, it is overwhelmingly entertaining with well-defined and engaging characters, a thrumming chord of emotion throughout, truly spectacular action sequences, and at its core an intriguing message of what the real threat to America is. So, for July 4th, celebrate the land you love by seeing a movie where a critical chunk of it gets blown up!
For an alternate take on White House Down, check out Eric's review.
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