Friday, 20 September 2013

284, White House Down

You would be easily forgiven for thinking that Hollywood have gone MAD!  "Hang on - haven't I just seen this movie" I hear you all cry? but panic not - We've seen this before, quite a few times.

White House Down isn't the only movie that's easily comparable with another recent release (in this instance, Olympus has Fallen).  The other notable doubles are Liberty Stands Still (Phone Booth?), Day and Knight (The Killers?) and Oblivion (Moon?).  All have extremely similar plot lines and each released over an easily comparable time frame and I'm sure there are many more that I've missed so seeing as these two have both been blogged by me, which stands out as the 'must see?'

Well for me.  Olympus has Fallen is the better movie and I'll explain why. 

The North Koreans bringing 'Shock and Awe' back to Washington by pounding down the White House font door with nothing but big brass balls and epic force far outweighs the sneaky 'bomb in a bin' technique orchestrated by the Presidents own trusted allies (no spoiler alert - its obvious who's in charge from the first 5 minutes) used in White House Down.

I know - before you all moan - the Bomb was in the Capital Building but its what started the events and although far more believable - just lacked that big screen presence of its predecessor.

Then there is the cast, Tatum and Foxx are by far the bigger of the Hollywood players right now and I'm guessing more of a draw than comparable portrayals by Gerard Butler (Secret Service) and Aaron Eckhart (President) but that's what made Olympus so awesome - you weren't drawn into ego's which I feel you are with this newer rendition.

White House Down shows a wannabe Secret Service agent (Tatum) dreaming of getting the big gig and after failing the interview, ends up taking his daughter on a tour of the White House when it all kicks off.  After they end up separated, he seeks her out and after managing to rescue the President along the way realises his dream job is happening right now and with his family at risk as well as the safety of his boss, has to kick ass to save the day - single handed.

The stand out performance in this though isn't from Tatum or Foxx but Tatum's fantastic political geek of a daughter, Emily (played by the ever so cute Joey King) who's sheer belief in the Presidency and all it stands for give her balls of solid brass when squaring off with some pretty vicious terrorist, although funnily enough, one is played by StreetDance 2 star Ash / Falk Hentschel, but no pirouettes or jazz splits on show here! and he's not in the least bit scary.

The rousing finale which involves a limo chase across the White House lawn and a geeky President managing to lose a Rocket Launcher doesn't hold a candle to the bravery of Emily and her sheer determination - even after getting a proper whack from lead baddie Jason Clarke (Stenz) to raise the Presidential flag just as the bombers are set to obliterate the White House is close to tear jerking for the most hardened action nuts among you but other than the last 25 minutes - Olympus has Fallen wins the Action fest hands down.

Tatum is just a little bit too methodical and Foxx tries to offset his lack of hardness (he's more a number cruncher than warrior) with comedy and sadly fails.  Even the choice of the Presidential Nike Air's? when making a quick change just took it one step too far for me.

There is plenty of Bruce Willis style Die Hard 'vests' on show for the Channing Tatum fans but if you want true, non stop action that impresses on every level then the Gerard Butler version if far better, (Even though the Emily / Flag scene is one of the most moving things I've seen on screen this year).