There are many obvious comparisons between White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen, which came out this spring. Generally speaking, the latter is a better movie, but there’s not a lot to choose from between them.
White House Down is longer with more excessive shootouts and explosions, if you find them entertaining. The plot is also more unbelievable, sometimes even preposterous, but like its predecessor, it is also exciting, entertaining and all in all, a good summer popcorn movie.
Channing Tatum plays a Washington policeman who wants to be a secret service agent protecting the president, but is considered lacking in education and attitude. Luckily, the day he takes his estranged daughter (Joey King) on a tour of the White House, terrorists strike and he finds himself fighting to keep the president (Jamie Foxx) and his daughter alive.
Foxx has angered some of those high up in his administration by promising to withdraw all American troops from the Middle East. Richard Jenkins, playing the Speaker of the House, is especially strongly opposed.
Some big names in the cast: Maggie Gyllenhaal is good as the stalwart secret service agent, James Woods as the traitorous head of the secret service and Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) as the leader of the homegrown mercenaries that take over the White House and try to start a major war. But the real villain is the vaguely depicted military industrial complex, angry at losing all that cash if Middle East peace breaks out.
Light, but entertaining, summer viewing.
Rating: three deer out of five
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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.