‘White House Down,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


“Olympus Has Fallen” seemed like a front-runner to top year-end lists as one of 2013’s worst films.

While it’s early enough in the year for another film to overtake it in the downhill race, it’s surprising to have that film be the second movie about a terrorist takeover of the White House since January – but this one is even worse than its predecessor.

Like Antoine Fuqua’s March release, Roland Emmerich’s “White House Down” is a “Die Hard” clone, about a well-intended and highly skilled former military and law man who just happens to be the only one in the position to foil the terrorists doing the attacking. In this case, it’s an Iraq war veteran and former D.C. cop played by Channing Tatum named John Cale (perhaps writer James Vanderbilt is a Velvet Underground fan), who now works the security detail for the Speaker of the House of Representatives (Richard Jenkins).

Cale is dying for a job working for the Secret Service guarding the president – and when a friend hooks him up with an interview, he takes along his daughter, who is the president’s biggest fan. (Because who says there shouldn’t be a Take Your Daughter to Your Job Interview Day?)

Wouldn’t you know it – the terrorists choose that moment to strike.

This review continues on my website.

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