Lightning Review: White House Down

White House Down movie posterSynopsis
John Cale (Channing Tatum) is a Capitol Policeman and Afghanistan veteran who is applying to be in the secret service. After the interview, he takes his daughter on a tour of the White House. During the tour, the White House is attacked by a group of mercenaries trying to kidnap the President (Jamie Foxx). Cale manages to elude the terrorists and goes to search for his daughter (Joey King).

White House Down works best if you go in with the mindset of accepting the absurd. The plot is just ridiculous; Each new twist is more silly that the last. It is riddled with cliches and tries to act as a call back to the cheesy action movies of the 80s. At the very least, it is aware of this and isn’t afraid to poke fun at the absurdity of itself. There are many funny moments throughout the film and Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx each get their fair share of one-liners, which are hit or miss. However, some of best bits come when those two are bantering back and forth. I was hoping that given the cast (Tatum, Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods), director and writer (James Vanderbilt also wrote The Amazing Spider-Man) that it would have turned out better. As long as you go into White House Down understanding it is nowhere near Emmerich’s best film and expect a lot of cheesy dialogue, the action, one-liners and buddy-cop-like chemistry between Tatum and Foxx make it more enjoyable than it otherwise would be.



Cast & Crew
Roland Emmerich – Director
James Vanderbilt – Writer
Harald Kloser – Composer
Thomas Wanker – Composer

Channing Tatum – John Cale
Jamie Foxx – President James Sawyer
Maggie Gyllenhaal – Carol Finnerty
Jason Clarke – Emil Stenz
Richard Jenkins – Raphelson
Joey King – Emily Cale
James Woods – Martin Walker
Nicolas Wright – Donnie Donaldson
Jimmi Simpson – Skip Tyler
Michael Murphy – Vice President Alvin Hammond
Rachelle Lefevre – Melanie
Lance Reddick – General Caulfield
Matt Craven – Agent Kellerman

Lightning Review: The Day After Tomorrow

The Day After Tomorrow movie posterSynopsis
Paleoclimatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) and his team, Frank Harris (Jay O’Sanders) and Jason Evans (Dash Mihok), discover global warming will cause catastrophic climate shifts in the future, they report their findings, only to be dismissed by the Vice-President (Kenneth Welsh). However, when the weather begins to go awry as Hall predicted, he heads to New York to reach his son, Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal), before the world enters a new Ice Age.

The Day After Tomorrow is a disaster movie that has many of the genre’s cliches. The dialogue is corny and the characters overall are fairly forgettable. Then there are the staple comedic character and love story. Dash Mihok is the comedic relief of this movie and is pretty funny, but the love story between Sam and Laura Chapman (Emmy Rossum) felt like any other teen romance in similar films. Special effects are where The Day After Tomorrow truly excels. But that isn’t much of a surprise since it is directed by Rolland Emmerich and his films usually have impressive visuals. Speaking of Emmerich films, apparently when the Vice-President is a central (or somewhat central) character, he is always a jerk (just wanted to state my observation). If you can put logic aside and don’t take this movie too seriously, The Day After Tomorrow can be a fun and entertaining romp through the disaster genre.