White House Down

[3 stars] [IMDB Link]

[Amazon Link]
(paid link)

What can I say? I was in the mood for a Big Dumb Movie and this one from 2013 fit the bill nicely. It's Die Hard with the White House instead of Nakatomi Plaza. And a much bigger body count. And free-to-me on Netflix.

Channing Tatum plays John Cale, a big lunkhead Capitol policeman. He's divorced, with a daughter who disrespects him. (Fair enough: he missed her talent show performance). But she worships the current President (Jamie Foxx), the Presidency generally, and knows everything about the White House. Which works out well, because Cale has aspirations to join the Secret Service. He's wangled a job interview, which he combines with a White House tour for his daughter.

Unforunately, Cale's aspirations are shot down by a college acquaintance (ex-girlfriend?) Carol, who happens to head up the Secret Service now. And very unfortunately, the tour is marred by an invasion of the White House by a deadly gang of … terrorists? Extortionists? What is their motive exactly? Well, it's complicated. It seems to be one thing, then quickly turns out to be another.

And it doesn't matter, really, because it's an excuse to have lots of gunplay, explosions, fisticuffs, snarling bad guys threatening the innocent, continually frustrated by John McCane's Cale's efforts to thwart their schemes and save the day. And the President. And his daughter. Not necessarily in that order.

I should add that paying attention to the plot only reveals the screenwriter's biases. The actual motive behind the attack is your standard left-wing fever dream.

Last Modified 2024-01-11 2:55 PM EDT