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White House Down
Category Action
Year: 2013
Time: 131 minutes
Production: Columbia Pictures
Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast:
Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Jason Clarke
MPAA PG-13 / UK12A
Our Rating 3/10 - It's difficult to make a $150million movie this bad!! More Home Alone than Die Hard!
Watchability 6/10 - In that it's so bad, it's good to watch again!
Tag-line It Will Start Like Any Other Day.
 
Plot:

Cale dreams of joining the President's Secret Service, and being a better father to his daughter Emily. She tags along on a White House tour when he turns up for an interview, but Cale is badly inexperienced, has poor character references, and is not qualified, so turned down politely but almost instantly by one of his old acquaintances. Just when you think things couldn't get any worse ... terrorists choose that day to hijack the White House, kidnap the President and hold the tourists as hostages!  What they need is John McClane...

 
So, how does it end?

But unfortunately they're stuck with Cale.

Emily, the annoying know-it-all, goes to the toilet just as the action starts. She manages to film the terrorists on her mobile and upload the feed which reaches local news stations.

Cale escapes from the room with the other hostages, takes out a few bad guys, but gets diverted and ends up rescuing the President from Walker (James Woods), the head of the Secret Service.

They are chased around the White House, using service elevators mainly, and Cale manages to take out Stenz's buddy, distracting the lead terrorist.

After failed FBI attempts to get on the roof, a joy ride in the President's limo, and more explosions, finally Stenz works out who Emily is. He announces on the PA that he will shoot her if Cale doesn't show himself.  Instead the President steps out of hiding (and from strangely being out of the movie for a good half an hour), and is taken up to see Walker, who runs the nuclear codes.

Due to a technical glitch, the nuclear football playbook is still active. Walker starts to target enemies of the USA.

Cale takes inspiration from an historical painting, and starts to set fire to the White House. Meanwhile, fighter jets are called in to take out the White House and stop the nuclear attack.

The Tour Guide takes out one of the attackers, while the hostages are freed. Cale faces off against Stenz, and after a monster (and, a little boring) battle, finally defeats him with the help of some grenades.

To stop the attack, Emily grabs a flag and runs back to the front lawn before waving it proudly. The fighter jet pilots, knowing that they can just see one little girl but have the power to stop World War 3 and millions dying across the world, decide to disobey orders and pull out.

Walker shoots the President and is just about to launch the attack, when Cale drives through into the Oval Office, and kills Walker. If you still care by this point, the President is still alive as the bullet hit something in his pocket.

Outside, the Speaker of the House is still officially the new President, and tells those around him he plans to attack Iran. Cale and the President piece it all together and know he was working with Walker. He is soon arrested.

Cale is invited to join the President, and decides to bring along Emily too. He is offered a job on the Secret Service, probably due to the fact that all the others are now dead, and the President learns that the World wants to sign up to his peace treaty.

 
Comments

What a weird movie!

I remember reading something about the strange soundtrack when it came out in a review, and that reviewer nailed it!  A few times we're left with a 'Home Alone' type comedy score, when what it needs is something a little more Die Hard.

The whole movie is a mess. They should have dropped the family angle, and just gone for something a little more edgier.  Something half an hour shorter and less ambitious would have made a great Die Hard 3 (rather than THAT one), before Bruce got old and sold out, and badly needed those John McClane wise-cracks and sarcasm.

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