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Action -Shoot-em Ups

White House Down (2013)

Duration2h 11m
RatingsUK: 12A, USA: PG-13, Spain: 16 
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorRoland Emmerich
Writers/ScriptJames Vanderbilt
StarringChanning Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Joey King, James Woods, Lance Reddick, Jake Weber, 
RatingsIMDb: 6.3 by 213,000 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: .52% by 199 reviewers.

Elevator Pitch: John Cale is a divorced Afghanistan veteran, now employed to provided security for the US Speaker of the House, but he applies for the Presidential detail and since he is visiting the White House gets a pass for his daughter. He does not get the job, but before he and his daughter leave a explosion announces that the White House is under siege and the president is being hunted by a group of heavily armed men, led by the head of security on the day of his retirement. Cale manages to find the president and is able to offer him some protection despite the awesome fire power of the insurgents. Despite the skill and extent of the villain’s capabilities can President Sawyer and Cale survive.

Content: No nudity or sex. The president goes about his daily business, Cale and his daughter join a tour of the White House. Once the gunfire starts there is almost continuous fire fights with the goodies mostly being shot down instantly. Cale and the president hide on top of an elevator for a while, occasionally emerging to shoot a few people. A helicopter attack fails because the villains have missiles. The Vice-president’s aircraft is shot down, incidentally containing Cale’s possible love interest. An aircraft attack on the White House is authorised.

A View:  The film received mixed reviews and despite the gross takings exceeding the budget, has been considered to be a box office bomb. Those who did not like it felt that it was cliché ridden, and it was. I enjoyed the casting of several actors who have been in different TV series, including Lance Reddick from The Wire who did well as a general. So, in all, although it definitely has problems if you enjoy shoot’em ups this one is acceptable.

Additional Info: The script by James Vanderbilt was sold for $3 million.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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