White House Down (2013)

White House Down
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: James Vanderbilt
Cast: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Joey King, James Woods, Nicolas Wright, Jimmi Simpson, Rachelle Lefevre, Lance Reddick

John Cale (Channing Tatum) is a bodyguard and wants nothing more than to work for the Secret Service and on the protection detail of the president Sawyer (Jamie Foxx). Especially because his daughter Emily (Joey King) is a huge fan of the president. So when John actually gets an interview in the White House, he takes Emily with him. Unfortunately this just happens to be the day where the White House and the president are attacked. Suddenly everything depends on John.

It is hard to not compare this film to Olympus Has Fallen. And White House Down is the clear winner in that comparison. I didn’t even have alcohol and I enjoyed pretty much every second of it, even if not everything was supposed to be as funny as it was.


There is something about Roland Emmerich movies. They tend to be stupid as fuck, but at least their clichés and stereotypes lean into the leftist direction instead of the right, which I appreciate. They tend to adhere strictly to their genre formulas. But they always have a pretty good sense of humor, the pacing is good and they are just a whole lot of fun.

And White House Down is no exception to this. Clichés abound aplenty: President Sawyer is the poor black kid who realized the ultimate American dream and became president, to go around and set up the most naive peace treaties around the world that somehow work. John Cale is the valiant soldier who had to go to war to grow up and now tries to do things right with his daughter. They get caught in the crossfire of the military industrial complex and domestic terrorism.


Despite the paint by numbers structure, it works. And I’d much rather have the patriotic wankfest without the xenophobia (if not to say racism); one that focuses on the domestic side of terrorism. Also I appreciate that they had their funny moments, that they had Channing Tatum in a tank top and that Joey King was fucking amazing.

If you know Roland Emmerich movies, you know what you’re supposed to get here. And wonderfully enough that’s exactly what you get. Right down to the hilariously overblown showdown.


Summarizing: I’m an Emmerich fangirl, what can I say.

2 thoughts on “White House Down (2013)

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