I’ve been keeping an admiring eye on Channing Tatum since I first saw She’s the Man. He’s come a long way since then, and done some fascinating work. If it weren’t for his appearance in White House Down I probably would not have watched it. I am not a huge fan of action movies, especially ones with an American patriotic theme.
But I am so glad that I have watched this movie. The action was relatively believable and it wasn’t JUST two hours of explosions - there was a story here as well that stood up on its own merit, not just to fuel more CGI theatrics. There was a great deal of humour in this movie, and despite the seriousness of the story it felt right. The President, played by Jamie Foxx, was personable and engaging. Apart from West Wing, I’ve not found a TV/Movie President that was someone I could really like and it was hard to summon the American sense of patriotism and total dedication to their leader. However with <i>White House Down</i>, I found myself really admiring him, especially because he was fighting for himself and doing it with the Jamie Foxx cool.
But aside from the two leading men, I greatly admired them for making one of the main heroes a heroine – a 13 year old heroine - who fought back not with guns or violence, but with courage and calm thinking. They also had a female head secret service agent who is very dedicated to her job.
I think what struck me most with this movie is that the terrorists weren’t outsiders. So often these movies represent the current political turmoil – all the Bond movies featured Russian or Korean spies and enemies reflecting the Cold War and anti-Communist politics. Then there was a turn and all the terrorists and enemies of state were Muslims from the Middle East, or drug traffickers from South America. Yet this is the first movie I can recall, and granted I haven’t seen a lot, where the enemy came from within America and were white American men, fighting against mostly white American men.
I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I ever thought I would and I think it will appeal to most people wanting a fun night in alone or with friends.