Beyond A Reasonable Doubt Review

Time to look at a classic noir mystery film. This one has a pretty interesting plot about trying to fake a crime which is just as dangerous as it sounds. Probably not something you want to be doing on the regular but the reason behind it is interesting as well. The movie has its share of twists and turns as it comes to the ending and they all work pretty well. Definitely a must watch if you like noir.

So the movie starts with Tom accompanying his boss Austin to the latest execution. Austin wanted Tom to see this first hand to further explain why he was against capital punishment. The District Attorney has been bumping quite a few criminals off and Austin thinks it is so that he can make a play at being governor. The two certainly don’t like each other much which is understandable since it’s a big topic to disagree on. That is when Austin lets Tom in on his idea. He wants them to wait for a crime there there are no leads and then they will frame Tom for the crime. If he is convicted and sentenced to be murdered, then Austin will reveal that it was all a ruse and that might get the state to outlaw capital punishment. They’ll have photos and everything so this should be low risk.

Tom agrees to do it but quickly realizes that there will be a lot of complications here the whole time. For starters, this puts Tom’s engagement on the rocks because he is starting to act overly familiar with some other ladies as part of his cover. Tom probably should have just told Susan what was up from the start so this is all on him. Then with all of the fake evidence Tom’s position continues to look worse and worse. As long as Austin is ready as his safety net he should be good…but will that really work?

The writing here is very good which is absolutely critical since the dialogue is really what makes a film like this. I certainly didn’t see one of the final twists coming here. I also like how Tom’s very nonchalant about the whole court case until something happens later on. He doesn’t do anything to cause the judge to attack him or anything but Tom just doesn’t seem to care even though his life seems to be on the line. Since nobody else knows about his deal with Austin this makes sense and it makes for some fun moments.

As for the actual plan, I do think they took a decent amount of precautions here. The photos were definitely key and they should help answer a lot of questions. I think Tom took the “act” too far though. Like the scenes with him and the dancer where he is being quite aggressive were uncalled for there. He knew that the cops were around (presumably) but even so he should have tried to retain some class. I don’t blame Susan for being upset about the dinners either since there aren’t many explanations that would explain that.

Tom really didn’t do anything to make himself look good in her eyes. He has a lot of good banter with the cops and the DA but when it comes to his home life it definitely became a mess right away. So those scenes definitely hurt him and by the end he wasn’t one of the more solid characters. I’ll give Susan credit for handling things well though and not trying to make a scene. Clearly these events hurt her quite a lot but she never broke down. At the end of the film she also makes the right decision during crunch time too.

Then you have Austin who’s a solid character. His plan is a bold one but I do have to agree that it would strike a solid blow for his cause. It would really show why capital punishment is so dangerous and would have absolutely crushed the DA’s career. The DA was a solid character as well. He’s the antagonist but not a villain. The guy does think that he’s doing the right thing and the evidence was hard to overlook especially with how poorly Tom defended himself since he wasn’t taking things seriously.

It’s hard to blame the DA at all for going along the path that he did. As for the capital punishment debate, that will always be a tough one. On one hand, if you are falsely accused and die, you’re dead so that’s it. On the other hand it may be preferable to have a quick end than to rot in jail for 60 years before you finally get out when they find out you weren’t really guilty. In a lot of ways the first option just seems better and that’s before you even go into the logistics and all. Ultimately it’s for the best that we don’t have it but it will always remain as a tempting option as long as there are dangerous criminals who still exist.

Naturally a big part of why the film is so fun also comes down to the courtroom scenes. I always enjoy seeing those and this film has quite a lot of them. You get to see the DA make his case and Tom have to try and respond. While the heroes would take shots at how the DA was trying to win over the jury, I would say that he was just doing really well and they were sour grapes because they were so invested in this. I don’t blame them of course but it is without a doubt that I can say the DA did the best here and stole the show at least within the confines of the courts. That is his area of expertise after all.

The only weak parts of the film can be when Tom is under cover. As I said earlier he gets way too into the role if you ask me. Definitely seems like he’s having fun with it when he shouldn’t be. I also don’t even think we need some of the scenes there with the dancers performing or changing later on. Feels like the film added some unnecessary fanservice here when it could have been focusing more on the mystery. To an extent I imagine it was meant to show us their daily lives and how it was easy for the first one to be taken alone and murdered but if that’s the case then I’d like to see the management more and how they’re handling this. It seems like they’ve added 0 security since anyone like Tom can just walk right in through the front door.

Overall, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is a solid film. It keeps you engaged from start to finish with a solid cast and good writing at the ready. The whole film really ends quickly and the pacing is never an issue. I’d definitely recommend it, especially if you are interested in the court room and debates on capital punishment. From the start you may figure that Tom should have just said no to even trying out this experiment which is valid but it does make for a good story.

Overall 7/10

Meet John Doe Review

John Doe always seemed like a cool name. I don’t know the origins of how that became such a popular name to use as an alias but it is certainly catchy. The movie does a good job of showing how difficult it can be to uproot the political power around you. You can’t just try to rock the boat without an army or all the sides will get you. “John Doe” wasn’t prepared for this and you’ll have to see if he can adapt or not as the movie goes on.

The movie starts off with a newspaper deciding to fire a ton of its staff as it transitions into greater profit margins than ever before. Ann is upset by this and creates a fake suicide letter by a “John Doe” to stir things up. This plan works as the paper calls her back in and she convinces them to make this into a big story. They’ll take a random guy off the streets and have him play the part. He will say that he is going to jump off the building at Christmas Eve and in the meantime he’ll talk about society’s problems. They’ll then give this guy a train ticket out of town so that he isn’t spotted and the illusion doesn’t break. They find a guy who actually is named John and get him to play the part. John isn’t thrilled about it, but this seems to make a lot of people happy. Is he making a big mistake in sticking around here or will it all work out in the end?

Ann’s move at the beginning was certainly bold but it payed off so big props to her there. It’s sort of something that you would expect Lois Lane to pull off. Throughout the movie Ann has a solid role and really shapes John into the character he is supposed to be. Her mother gives her a lot of good advice too when it comes to making the speeches. By the end of the film one of the themes is that most people will ultimately submit to power and peer pressure though. Unfortunately Ann is no exception and it is far too late by the time she sees the light. She made a rather big mistake during the film which comes back to haunt her. Ann’s good scenes heavily outweigh her bad ones though so in the end she was a quality character.

The character I really liked here was The Colonel though. He spends the whole movie trying to warn John against the dangers of money and letting it make him weak. He’s certainly paranoid and off his rocker though. The Colonel’s points aren’t all necessarily wrong, he just takes them too far like saying how $50 will completely break John. The Colonel is all about freedom and would prefer to live under a bridge than to have a comfy bed and live in the lap of luxury. He is loyal though and no matter how tough he talks the entire time, you can always find him right next to John when trouble comes. The Colonel has also sacrificed quite a lot in order to help John based on what he said about having to push back his travel plans so often.

Henry was another standout character. He’s the editor of the newspaper and while he’s a tough man, he’s also a guy who likes to play fair. He fights for the common man and doesn’t like it when the politicians try to step on everybody. He’s done his best to keep the newspaper objective and towards the end of the film he is the first to suspect that something is not right here. Now, he does drink a lot which is a mistake since it means that he can’t focus on the issue at hand, but aside from that scene he does keep his cool for the most part. I’d say every character makes a mistake at some point or another here so that’s not terrible.

When it comes to John, well he takes a lot of convincing here. Considering that he was homeless and without a place to turn to before now, I kind of thought he would be a little more co-operative. He ditches the characters at a moment’s notice and it’s not until he’s directly confronted by all of the people that he has helped that John really buys into the program. It seems like he wasn’t truly understanding what he was even talking about in the speeches initially. He was only doing this in large part because he likes Anna lot. It’s not the greatest of motivations for a character but at least they are ones that make sense.

By the end of the film John is good but it takes him a long while to get there. He also comes close to making the wrong decision as well. I won’t criticize him for the speech since there was really nothing more he could have done there, but I would have liked him to have tried some different methods to stop corporate after that. He talked a really good game initially but it seems like he just didn’t have a lot of big plans after that.

Finally we have the main villain Norton. His scheme is rather ambitious as he aims to start a third political party which would knock the other two out. You can’t say that he dreams small, that’s for sure. That said, I see a lot of issues ultimately stopping him anyway. Even if John had gone along with his scheme, the movement would have likely died out midway through. Norton would learn the difference between having clubs as a hobby and then turning that into a political army. After all, all of the clubs had a role of no politicians so I don’t think they would all suddenly be tricked into becoming a fully fledged political army.

The movie does show the importance of being careful who your benefactors are. If someone’s paying for your clubs and memberships then that’s giving them a whole lot of power to use against you in the end. Something like that can and usually will end up going sideways. The movie is mainly laidback and relaxed but the ending does get rather intense. The film does a good job of building up the tension and it’s a well written adventure from start to finish. You’ll be feeling the intensity of the movie as well as the somber notes when things start to fall apart for everyone. Ultimately each character tends to act selfishly at times which continues to snowball into a bigger issue.

Overall, I liked this film. It’s a well written movie that is really interesting. The big meeting of the villains at the end was rather hype and almost felt out of place here with how diabolical everyone was. It helped paint a nice picture of the every day joe vs the world though. Some scenes may be a bit cheesy like how the clubs introduction to John felt a bit dragged out but it’s still a heart warming scene to see how they were all affected. As a few members pointed out, the overall message of knowing your neighbor is a sound one even if the movement at large ended up failing. Some members took it way too hard like the guy with a ton of signatures. You can see why they were upset though and perhaps caught in the moment but that’s why in a movement you need to agree with the idea and not the person at large. If you’re up for a classic film about politicians manipulating people behind the scenes, this is a really solid one to check out.

Overall 7/10

Why Robyn is the most underwhelming RWBY character

It’s time to look at a recent RWBY character who made her debut in Volume 7. Robyn Hill got a lot of attention right when she was first confirmed to be appearing and then when in the theme song the brief shots we had of her involved a fight with Tyrian. Clearly she was going to be the next big powerhouse in the series and ideally she could take over where Adam left off. We needed a new third party to spice things up. Heroes and Villains make for a good dynamic but what really helps to make both sides more exciting is to have someone who’s looking after their own interests. Robyn is certainly more of a hero than a villain, but she is quite willing to go against the heroes if it means she will be helping her people. Unfortunately the volume really didn’t do much with her and she ended up not coming close to meeting expectations. Lets look at some of the reasons as to why this was the case.

Fighting Ability

One of the big reasons for this is her lack of fighting ability. Robyn may have looked to be fighting evenly against Tyrian in the theme song, but that wasn’t the case in the episode. She had to team up with Clover and Qrow with both of them doing most of the work. Robyn’s crossbow did not look impressive as it deals minimal damage and the arrows are too slow so Tyrian can react to them all. She does get a good hit thanks to using Tyrian’s overconfidence against him, but in a straight fight it is clear that she is nowhere near Clover or Tyrian. To an extent she doesn’t have to be as strong as them but I would have liked for her to have been in the same ballpark. Instead she is relegated to the sidelines. It’s quite telling that in the second last episode she gets taken down in a quick hit and when she wakes up she is taken down in the plane crash once again while everyone else remained conscious. Robyn was constantly being outshined and you can’t have an effective third party is you’re this weak.

Ironwood exists

The biggest missed opportunity for Robyn is actually Ironwood’s continued existence. He ended up becoming the interesting third party of volume 7 as he slowly went down a dark path. This really made Robyn feel redundant because it’s rare to have 4 different factions running around. The only title I can think of that did this is Index with the Sorcerers, Aleister’s unit, Touma/Misaka’s group, The Level 0, and then Accelerator. You also have Anti Skill and Judgment running around if you count smaller groups. So what ended up happening here is that Robyn’s aligning more with the heroes. By volume 8 there’s a chance she will be a full hero as they all unite to stop Ironwood and possibly contend with Salem. Robyn could make for a fun hero, but I’d rather have her as more of an extremist like Adam. Her position is so close to his.

Adam Set the bar too high

Adam’s the greatest RWBY character so perhaps it was unfair to Robyn from the jump to even be compared to him. The odds of her being able to fill in his shoes were never that high from the start. It’s hard not to draw the same conclusions though. Adam wanted to help the faunus because there was such heavy discrimination against them and so he began the revolution. Thanks to Adam’s efforts the faunus now have a much better living situation even if he was taken down before true equality could be reached. Robyn is trying to help the people of Mantle as Atlas has turned their backs on them. Mantle is forced to live in pretty terrible conditions while the people of Atlas still enjoy a very wealthy lifestyle. Ironwood says that this is just temporary but Robyn is through waiting and so she has assembled her “Happy Huntresses” who raid Atlas supplies and try to help people. She certainly doesn’t mind attacking innocents if it’ll get the job done as she would have assaulted Clover’s squad if not for Penny intervening.

One difference from Adam is that she also tries to do this through the official channels. You may wonder how she is able to be known as a wanted vigilante while also running for a chair position. I’d attribute this to her social status. If Ironwood were to arrest her in public it would be a really bad look for him and tensions are already quite high in Atlas. There’s also the knowledge that if she doesn’t win legally then she’ll do whatever she can off the books. Robyn is certainly a lot more heroic than Adam, but she needed to have more of an active role. It all goes back to her lack of power. If she were stronger then she would have had more influence.

Robyn’s semblance is incredibly useful but she never takes advantage of it.

Robyn can detect if someone is telling the truth or not. That’s quite valuable in a story like this where everyone is constantly lying. It makes you wonder why there was any tension after Tyrian’s attack and framing of Penny. That whole framing job doesn’t work for a variety of reasons, but the biggest one is the fact that Robyn could use her ability to find out what really happened. Just ask Penny if she was responsible or not. Since Penny’s aura is enough to work as a conduit to the Maidens and recognized as a real person, the same logic would apply to her semblance. She can also question all of the other people in Ironwood’s faction and get the same response. It should diffuse tensions and it would have helped a lot with the plane situation and Clover although I think she made the right move there. Clover was the one being completely short sighted and crazy.

How can Robyn make a comeback in Volume 8?

Robyn’s character isn’t past the point of no return. Being underwhelming is completely different from being a bad character so there are still a lot of things she can do to rise back up. First off, she needs to get some more say in Volume 8. A big way to do this would be to snatch one of the relics. If she manages to use the schism between Cinder and Salem to snatch back a relic that would be huge. Particularly if she can take it for herself. Perhaps she can take Ironwood’s relic instead. Robyn just needs to grab someone or something and use that as leverage to help Mantle out. Thing is, there are not going to be a lot of opportunities for this in Volume 8 since Salem’s attack threatens the safety of everyone including her people.

A new weapon could also accomplish the same thing. Robyn already has a lot of confidence and some pretty good lines. The problem is that she is good at hitting people once they’re down, but isn’t winning any straight fights. A solid win against a big character would do her a lot of good. Perhaps taking down Blake or Neo would be a good start. Ironwood established a lot of credibility for himself by taking down Watts in Volume 7. Robyn needs to take down a similar figure in Volume 8 and that’ll be the way to really get her on the map.

A final way Robyn could do this would be to broker a deal with Salem to protect Mantle. She realizes that there is no way to save them until she joins Salem. Traitors are rarely popular with the main characters, but saving Mantle is really her only concern at this point. If she were to pull this off and save the day then it would make her a character to take note of. Right now Robyn has no real presence and that’s what she has to work on changing. These are some reasons why her character just felt wasted in Volume 7 and some ways for her to get better. The bottom line is that we need a reason to respect Robyn as a threat to the heroes or for the villains to respect her as a powerful ally. At the end of the day this means that she needs some kind of win and she’ll either need better fighting abilities or a really good plan to pull this off.

Robyn has already been saying all of the right things. She is quick to stand up for Mantle whether she is in a meeting with the executives or just talking to team RWBY. She doesn’t trust anyone a whole lot which is a good thing and I’ve already talked about her confidence. It’s a lot harder to change your personality than your skills so that’s a very promising sign. We just need her to go rogue and since most of her supporters are either murdered or injured at this point it should make it a lot easier for her to make a move without having to worry about anyone else being in trouble.

Mr Smith Goes To Washington Review

It’s time to look at an old political film that shows one man’s fight against endless corruption. It can be a lost cause at times but if nobody takes a stand then the situation will never get better will it? It’s a pretty interesting movie even if the ending starts to stretch disbelief a bit. Still, the concept certainly isn’t hard to believe and sometimes things just work out this way.

The film starts off with the local mayor/governor worrying about which new senator to elect as the old one died. He gets pressure from his higher ups to bring in people who are corrupt or have skeletons in the closet so they can be blackmailed. The mayor is close to doing this until his kids guilt trip him into appointing a local ranger leader named Mr. Jeff Smith. Smith is a very down to earth guy who wants to uphold the original ideals of the US, but Mr. Taylor doesn’t like this. Taylor is the kingpin in the shadows who has been controlling the state for years. He decides to do whatever he can to stop this Mr. Smith.

I’m always up for a political film like this, especially when it’s in a court type setting. The senate meetings here are close enough. I remember hearing about how you could hold the floor indefinitely provided the circumstances were right so it was nice to see Smith use such a technique here. I’m sure there is probably a little more to it than this but it’s definitely fun to see. Smith has to talk for essentially an entire day which is pretty impressive for sure. That’s a lot of stamina.

Of course, the corruption was quite deep here so the effects weren’t as powerful as he would have liked. I can buy into Taylor blocking all of the radio channels and newspapers but where it starts to get a little fishy is when he hires a mob to go around and start beating up on the kids. That part’s definitely a little hard to believe. They ran into the kid’s car and actually knocked one to the ground. By the end even the grownups on Smith’s side are telling him to stop because too many kids are being injured.

Even if we are to assume that Taylor’s influence is so strong that all of these guys would be willing to fight kids, what about their parents or other resisters? We see in one scene a large group of adults running around with signs and such until the cops spray them, but then there should have been some adults to protect the kids as well. So while this part was dramatic I think it ends up getting a bit unrealistic by the end.

During the film, Smith’s mentor (Paine) talks to him about the rampant corruption. Paine explains that it isn’t everyone who is corrupt, just most of them. I thought this was foreshadowing for some senators agreeing with Smith by the end and the film would have ended with the Senate in full disagreement. In the end, it appears even he underestimated how corrupt the place was as everyone was involved. He’s definitely the worst character in the film but at least you do know that he’s a traitor from the start so it’s not like you were surprised at this turn of events.

While the writing is pretty solid and the film has good pacing, there is one plot that doesn’t work out well. It’s the comic relief one sided romance plot between Clarissa and a reporter. Their scenes don’t really add to the plot and the drunk bar one goes on for quite a while. I suppose it’s to show how she felt bad for Smith but you could already glean that information early on. Clarissa is a pretty reasonable character even if she does keep flipping from one side to the other. At first she thinks the situation is hopeless for Jeff so she just pretends to be on his side. Finally she does end up going to his side and to her credit she is indispensable by the end. Without her Jeff would have certainly been tricked or have lost the will to fight earlier.

Jeff’s a good character, but pretty gullible. While he ended up sticking to his core values and beliefs despite the overwhelming pressure he wouldn’t have gone far without help. If Clarissa hadn’t tipped him off he would have kept falling for that other girl’s tricks. The instant he let romance get above his duty I had to admit that this senator business may have been a little too much for him. He’s earnest, but to that end I’d figure that he would have done more reading up on what it means to be a senator. Sure, it was harder to get information back in the day but I’d like to have seen him be a bit more pro-active. These are more in-depth critiques of his character though, on the whole he was still pretty solid. It’s just that he could have been even better.

One character who stole the show quite a bit was the chairman for the senate. I like how the whole thing was basically one big joke to him. He’s a fair judge who doesn’t bend to the others. He knows his importance. Whether the right choice is made or not isn’t something he cares about so long as they follow the rules. It may not be heroic, but it is pretty enjoyable to see.

Overall, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a pretty solid film. It definitely shows how hard it is to get your point across when you’re up against corruption. Smith could have stood there all day without the senators reacting and that’s just what he did. Honestly I would have done more whistles to wake them up like he did in one scene, but I suppose he also didn’t want to be held in contempt of court or anything like that. That probably would have backfired. I’d definitely recommend checking this film out. It’s pretty original.

Overall 7/10

Deadline – U.S.A. Review

It’s time for an old school mafia/gangster film. I haven’t seen too many of these yet so it’s nice to add another one to the list. It’s handled pretty well and makes for an interesting movie from start to finish. I think the main character could have been a little better to make it easier to root for him, but I suppose it was trying to show that he was just an ordinary joe who wanted to stick up for the paper. Bogart plays the role extremely well as always and it’s a film that has certainly aged well.

Hutcheson is a proud newspaper man. He’s never gone for sensational clickbait over the actual news. He goes for the facts and just that. Unfortunately this means that his paper is losing sales and a competitor wants to buy him out to crush it for good. There’s not much Hutcheson can do about it since the board of directors are okay with the sale. He has enough time for one last scoop though and decides to attack the vicious gangster Rienzi after one of his reporters is attacked for following the story. Nobody gets to take down one of his staff, not while Hutcheson is still on the case.

With all of the fake stories being spread around and alternative facts used instead of actual ones, this film is a good reminder that you have to be careful what you believe. All of the papers in this film were either paid off by Rienzi or were too scared to attack him. This meant that Hutcheson and his crew had to dig up all of the dirt on their own. Luckily, these guys are some of the best in the biz and were ready for such a challenge. Hutcheson is also a pretty confident and bold person himself so the villain’s threats never get to him. He defies the villains right up til the end and even if he is taken out of the picture, the facts have now been released for everyone.

The film has a very sudden ending, but one that works well. You can reasonably draw your own conclusions from it and they are positive ones. While we may not have gotten an epilogue, you can see how things will go from here. It may have all come together a little too well in some cases though. For example, Hutcheson’s one flaw is that he’s typically drunk and a little crazy. He forgot that he was divorced to his wife for a while because he had one too many beers and once he remembered, he wanted to call it off. It was a little late for that as she already found the rebound guy. It turns out that the guy didn’t have any dirt on him even though Hutcheson tried to find it. By the end, the ex-wife realizes that she doesn’t want a new man and comes back. It’s nice for the lead of course, but that part was maybe a little over the top. It was the one subplot where I couldn’t sympathize with Hutcheson at all. He’s a great newspaper man, but that was part of the problem for his social life. He had very clear priorities and his ex-wife was apparently not one of them.

As you’d expect from a newspaper film, the plot is very intricate and there are twists upon twists. More elements continue dug up by the reporters and then you get the full story at the end. It’s definitely a sad story all around, but one that will keep you guessing. It always seems like a fair mystery with my only issue being that some characters look really similar. For example, the rebound guy looked just like one of the gangsters so I was waiting for that twist. Rienzi is a decent main villain although he doesn’t get to appear all that much. He’s clearly a lot smarter than his minions, but it wasn’t enough as he gets outsmarted by the newspaper the whole time.

The court scenes were pretty fun. There wasn’t much that the heroes could do there since the paper’s owners had already given their consent, but it was still nice to see. The court rooms definitely haven’t changed much at all as it looks like an exact replica to the one I sat in a while back. The Judge made the right call since an appeal to emotion isn’t the right way to win a case. One of the executives did stand up in the end though so the paper got to have a happy ending thanks to that. Hopefully sales pick up so she can gain back her money.

Again, old films like this one are so good because of the dynamic writing and plot. The script is leagues ahead of anything you’ll see in the modern day. The characters all feel very real and professional. While this may not always help Hutcheson, it does work well with the film. The plot was good and handled well as we got to see how a lone newspaper can deal with a gangster threat. They may have fallen for the fake cops gambit, but they controlled the game otherwise. All of the reporters were very good at their jobs and everyone brought something to the table. The only plot that the film should have cut out was the drama with the ex-wife. It didn’t eat up too much screen time though so at least it wasn’t a huge issue, just a minor thing that would have made the whole experience even better.

Overall, Deadline USA is a good film. It’s certainly one that I hadn’t heard of before so it was a nice hidden gem to find. The film’s not very long so the pacing never slows down. As one of Bogart’s final films, I can safely say that it was a good decision to be a part of it. The film certainly would have lost some charm and charisma without his inclusion. It’d still be a film, but some leads were just made for the roll and he did a good job here. For once he didn’t even get knocked out despite getting in a car with the villains. You definitely have to love that confidence. I highly recommend checking this film out.

Overall 7/10

White House Down Review

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