Judge David Johnson assures: if you like your dopey White House action movie, you can keep your dopey White House action movie.
The second of the summer's two White House-centric action movies took a slightly different approach than Gerard Butler's Olympus Has Fallen. Can disaster maestro Roland Emmerich ensure his Oval opus comes out on top?
Facts of the Case
John Cale (Channing Tatum, The Eagle) is a police officer yearning to score a post as a Secret Service agent. Now, however, his biggest priority is to be a cool dad to his estranged daughter, which he makes some progress in by securing White House tour tickets. Unfortunately he picked the one day when a paramilitary outfit decides to lay siege to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, forcing him to remove his shirt and start wasting bad guys.
President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx, Django Unchained) is also caught in the crossfire and he holds the key to the terrorists' demands. He's also got a pair of Air Jordans, and merrily dispenses with his outspoken pacifism to waste fools.
With this we are now officially 0-2 for White House action movies that don't poop all over your intelligence. Olympus Has Fallen is super dumb and so is White House Down, but I will give a tip of the hat to the latter for not being as self-serious as the former. It's also a let less memorable for its action beats and the PG-13 rating keeps things too sanitized for my taste.
Hmmm. Let's chart this mofo up…
White House Down vs. Olympus Has Fallen: One Dumb-ass White House Action Movie to Rule Them All!
Some quick back of the envelope math reveals that…uh, wait a second…yes, yes, both movies are moronic. It will come down to a matter of a taste: if you want more of a goofball summer experience, White House Down is for you. More of a hard-R bloodbath? Olympus.
Well-stocked Blu-ray from Sony: the 2.40:1/1080p transfer is lights out, a clean, detailed production that looks great during the frantic action scenes or the dimly lit melodrama going down in the bunker. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio pumps out the shenanigans with sizzle. Extras include a gag reel and 13 (!) mini-featurettes that may have been better served edited together into one robust making-of documenetary; interview footage is re-used for different segments. Still, it's an impressively long laundry list, with bits on the cast, the action, the director, the script, the limo chase, the weaponry, the visual effects and the set design.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
No surprise that the villainy all comes in from the right side of the aisle and "the military industrial complex" is name-dropped several times, but regardless of your partisan stripes there's nothing worth getting worked up at here, because, you know, who really gives a crap?
Not the blimp-wreck I was expecting, but not great either: too long (130 minutes?!) and too starved of stand-out action moments.
Not Guilty, but just barely. We'll issue a Presidential pardon for
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Scales of Justice
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