‘White House Down’: White Knuckle Thrillride or Downer? Jay Catterson reviews

Jay Catterson
Authored by
Jay Catterson

July 2, 2013
5:00 p.m.

White-House-Down

How patriotic! Just in time for the Fourth of July comes another “Oops, there goes the White House!” movie. Instead of Gerard Butler saving the day a la Olympus Has Fallen, it’s Magic Mike, a.k.a. Channing Tatum, as Capitol policeman John Cale to save the President. But he ain’t no ordinary President; it’s Jamie Foxx as President James Sawyer! So does this film deserve your hard-earned Benjamins, or should you cast your vote for another flick? Read on!

The Good: In addition to Foxx and Tatum, this flick features notable cast members Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Dark Knight) as Secret Service agent Finnerty, and James Woods as head of Secret Service-turned-vindictive-villain Walker. Plus the action scenes are quite elaborate and filled with more explosions than a Fourth of July fireworks display! Hooray!

The Gay: Tatum. Especially when he’s sporting some beefy tank top realness. It definitely was raining men in this movie, with Tatum wrestling Aussie hunk Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) as baddie Stenz during an epic wet battle scene complete with sprinklers. Man, I need a cold shower!

The Bad: Oh boy. There should be laws against these sorts of movies. The screenplay is so bad, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the absurdity that I was witnessing on the big screen. The film just got more and more ridiculous as each plot twist was revealed. Atrocious!

The Fugly: Whoa, some of those one liners were so bad, especially from Foxx. (Note to self: Don’t touch a brother’s Jordans. And don’t ever bring kids to the White House.)And Nicolas Wright as dorky White House tourguide Donnie was just groanworthy. Even Woods’ villainy got lost in preposterousness. This is one big pile of WTF.

Down with the White House, or wave the white flag? Citizens of America and the World: Do not see this movie. I urge you all to use your money to invest in good film choices. Unfortunately this isn’t one of them. Down is a subpar “save the POTUS” movie. Actually, if you lost just two letters from the acronym POTUS, it spells POS. And that’s what this film is. Don’t see it.

The Grade: D

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