White House Down Review

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It’s time to review a recent White House film and I’m not talking about Olympus Has Fallen this time! White House Down has more of a summer blockbuster feel while Olympus tried to take itself more seriously. I definitely preferred this one, but I’ll compare them both in a little bit. This film still had quite a few problems and suffered from the usual terrorists vs America issues, but was decently fun for the most part.

John has always wanted to be a part of the secret services and he’s about to get his chance! He brings his daughter along for the interview and things are going well. The problem is that…he failed the interview. Ah well, he tried. As John is about to leave, the White House is attacked and a traitor among them destroys all of the guards. A handful of other terrorists appear and take out the 50+ guards in the White House. John manages to escape along with the President, but how long can they hold out? Can these villains be stopped or will the heroes have to call for some backup?

Well, the plot’s fairly basic and these films have a bit of a formula to them so you know what to expect. Most of the usual events occur, but the film does try to shake things up a little by having the President get more of a role in the adventure like in Air Force One. The film is a little on the long side, but I wouldn’t say that it drags on as you’ll stay interested during the viewing for the most part.

All right, let’s quickly get the comparisons out of the way between this and Olympus. As I mentioned earlier, Olympus is supposed to be really serious business. The terrorists just want to watch the world burn and it can be pretty gritty as the lead knifed and gunned everyone down. The villains also intimidate and shoot the hostages for a little while which made for overdramatized scenes that were painfully long. The President got a scene where he was boxing in that film, but then didn’t get to throw a punch. This film is the opposite in many ways as it’s more light. There are several scenes for comic relief and the President gets a decent role. The best part is that we don’t have to waste time watching the terrorists mess with the hostages for the most part. It happens a bit of course, but it’s much better. This film was simply better for me on just about every level. The only area where the other film won was probably with the main character. He was a little more intense than John, but I liked both leads.

Back to the film. One of the good things about it was the soundtrack. We got several solid tunes to listen too during the attacks. They were certainly fast paced and helped to make the scenes a little more epic. A little on the generic side…sure, but they still did the job. That’s the important thing. I’d also say that the writing was much better than expected as there was virtually no language when compared to the standard, but this was a TV airing so make of that what you will. It’s possible that it was just edited out.

As I mentioned earlier, John’s a good lead. He wants to be a good father and he’s been working to make himself into a good person who can be dependable for his daughter. He certainly proved his stuff in this film and you can easily root for the guy. The President is also a solid character and I’m glad that he’s always ready for a fight. He gets quite a few big moments and even shoots a rocket at one point. That’s definitely not your average President material! There aren’t any other real notable characters as you have the garden variety terrorists at the ready and the supporting characters. I liked the general of the National Defense military group as he always kept a calm head about everything and I also liked the accent.

Now, let’s get into the main issue that makes the film a little dicey. The whole premise and plot only works on the assumption that the government security staff is inept and that America’s aim for each soldier is about as good as a storm trooper. As I stated earlier, the terrorists essentially entered with 20-1 odds or maybe even worse ones than that and not a single one of them was taken down during the attack. They seriously mowed everyone down without effort and it was embarassing to watch. Adding insult to injury is the fact that the hacker just had to type in 9 digits to immediately override the security of the White House and own everyone with it. He was very adept with the tech and suddenly knew how to operate everything.

There is a lot of plot hax in this film and it never really stops. Even near the end when the President rushes an old guy, I had to wince. The old man is able to overpower him and with a single punch, the President is out of commission for about 10 minutes. A single punch…just let that sink in a little. There’s no way that someone would lose that quickly when the stakes are so high. We do have the whole concept of adrenaline after all. I could list dozens and dozens of other such reasons, but let’s just talk about the big ones. There’s the fact that there is apparently no backup near the White House for some reason and none of the planes get anywhere near there until late into the film. That’s certainly…not very well thought out of our government eh? It’s also sad to see so many random civilians huddled around the White House as it makes things very tough for the army to do their job.

Our tanks were also not very impressive as a single rocket took one down since the tank naturally missed its target with the first shot and decided not to fire any more of them after that. America just did not look good and that’s unfortunately how it has to be if this plot is ever going to look impressive to the masses. It’s also unfortunate that we even have White House tours in real life, but that’s another matter entirely. The White House is mostly for show after all and especially nowadays as the President is always around on peace negotiations and other such things. Still, the concept of it just doesn’t work for me.

Beyond that…and that’s a big beyond, this was a good film. The plot was interesting as the President wanted to unveil a controversial peace treaty that would take all troops from the Middle East. That definitely sounds risky and I’m not sure if it’s a good move, but let’s save the politics chatter for a political site. The film’s attempts to keep things light with the comic relief were decent for the most part. I didn’t mind the antique guy who kept going on about the priceless artifacts. Him throwing one away at the end was a little much, but at least he was brave enough to stand up to the villains. I didn’t like John’s daughter though as she was overly rude to him the whole time and acted like the kid from Jurassic World. We’re definitely not getting good examples of kids in current films. Just look at Pixels and how the main characters were petty thieves in their younger days. Not cool.

Overall, White House Down fulfills its duty as an action blockbuster where the President gets to fight back. There is a lot of plot hax scattered throughout the film and America looks decently bad as expected. Luckily, it’s not to the extent of Olympus Has Fallen and this film was just more fun. It wouldn’t be my first pick, but I would recommend it to viewers. My advice is to just watch it as another action film and ignore the fact that the White House is being invaded. Imagine that it is just a fancy office building and everything will start to make a little more sense. I mean, the US not having any backups whatsoever to our missilles and nukes..? Please! Still, maybe it’s a good thing for foreign countries to believe this so in that sense….right on!

Overall 6/10

6 thoughts on “White House Down Review

    • Yeah, I likely wouldn’t be rewatching it anytime soon either. A 7 sounds good and we were definitely close on that one. I know that most critics preferred Olympus Has Fallen, but I thought that this one ended up being better.

      • Yeah, two very similar movies coming out during the same period of time, I was thrown off between which is which when they were announced a few years ago.

      • Definitely, I can’t tell if that backfired on the films or not since I don’t see too many people opting to watch both of them right off the bat. It’d be like Bleach and Naruto getting a film out at around the same time. Choices would have to be made! (Bleach for me)

      • Bleach for me too, after so long, I’d want to hear their voices and characters act as they should, even if it turned out to be a bad movie.

      • Yeah, you can never really trust the movies, but if Kubo helped with the story then it should be good. I really enjoyed movies 4 and 1. I wasn’t a huge fan of 2 or 3, but I still enjoyed them decently enough.

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