Protecting the Speaker of the House should be a good job, but John Cale aspires for more. To impress his alienated daughter, he is trying to get a spot on the President’s Secret Service protection detail. He has used his connections to secure an interview and has decided to take his daughter with him to the White House. Unfortunately, the interview does not go well but he does not let his daughter know. They decide to take the White House tour while they are there and this is when things begin to unravel. A bomb has gone off in the Capitol Building and the White House has gone in to lockdown trapping the tour group inside. To make matters worse, terroristic forces have now seized the White House. John Cale must now save his daughter, the President, and democracy.
Where do you start with this movie? Let’s go with the cast. The cast consists of a moderately impressive list of actors that you’ve heard of or at least have seen before. Channing Tatum being the big “star” with Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhall, and James Woods supporting. Too bad they had to lend their acting credentials to a story that had more holes in it than a block of swiss cheese. The writing effort on this film was the most insufferable part. I don’t think a lot if any research was done on this one to make it accurate as to how the government would handle such a situation. Including the monuments in the city might be the only accurate part of this film. The film relied upon chance and coincidence too many times to make it anywhere near believable. As for special effects, not that they looked bad but they didn’t blend in as well as they could have.
Why do I think this is a Die Hard rip off, and a bad one at that? Look at the similarities. First, character name – Die Hard: John McClain, White House Down: John Cale. Secondly, both are cops, New York vs. D.C.. Each character gets caught in a building that is taken over by terrorist. In each movie, a member of the hero’s family is also trapped in the building, wife vs. daughter. In moving around the building, they end up on top of an elevator and in a crawl space. Both hero’s acquire radios from the terrorists to listen in on them. How could you not notice that both end up running around saving the world in a white tank top? You’ve even got the villains lined up to match. James Woods takes Alan Rickman’s role. Even the secondary villain is a copy. The hero kills the guy’s “brother”, he swears that he will kill the hero, then they have a big fight scene together. Even the crime being committed is a cover for another crime in both movies. In White House Down, the President is held for ransom but the real plot is to steal the presidency. In Die Hard the hostages are being held to get political prisoners freed but the crime is robbing a vault.
Of the two movies ruining the White House under siege theme, this one comes in second place. If you are still compelled to see it, Amazon has the trifecta copy for about $19 and I’m not sure that is a good deal for this. I borrowed this to watch it and was glad I saved the money. Too bad mama was the one that paid for this and now she doesn’t want to talk about it.