White House Down
Image: Reiner Bajo / Columbia Pictures
White House Down
Our Rating
1 Star - Weak
Average Rating
 
(9 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (For prolonged sequences of action and violence including intense gunfire and explosions, some language and a brief sexual image.)
Genre
Directed By
Roland Emmerich
Run Time
2 hours 11 minutes
Cast
Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke
Theatre Release
June 28, 2013 by Sony Pictures Releasing

If Roland Emmerich and Paul Feig have any luck, reviews of White House Down and The Heat will fly down rabbit holes to discuss extraneous matters, such as whether or not the former film makes liberals or conservatives look worse, and why Melissa McCarthy's image was digitally altered in early posters of the latter to make her look thinner.

And it would make perfect sense if critics go out of their way to discuss matters tangential to the films, since the movies themselves are so drearily, predictably bad.

In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg quotes radio consultant Tom Webster when summarizing what media creators and managers think is the safest way to protect their investment: "Stations have to take risks on new songs, otherwise people stop listening. But what listeners really want are songs they already like. So you have to make new songs seem familiar as fast as possible." Does this thinking apply to movies? White House Down had a reported budget of $150,000,000. The Heat clocks in with a more modest (reported) budget of $50,000,000. That's a lot of risk, so conventional wisdom states that Emmerich, especially, needs to make his film seem as familiar as possible as quickly as possible.

Increasingly, for filmmakers that means not only limiting themselves to plots that can be described in a one sentence pitch—it's Die Hard at the White House!—but also reducing and using shorthand in those elements of the movie (usually the beginning and the end) that are the least generic. We see a stinging reminder that John Cale (Tatum) has missed his daughter's talent competition to set him up as a loving but flailing parent. We get a failed job interview to provide a quick summary of his ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These Next
Current IssueHow to Find Hope in the Humanless Economy
How to Find Hope in the Humanless Economy Subscriber Access Only
Robots could take half of our jobs in the next decade. Here’s why Christians have nothing to fear.
RecommendedWhy We Need Wonder Woman
Why We Need Wonder Woman
Even when it falters, the new female-led film brings freshness to the superhero flick.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickFinding My ‘True Self’ As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
Finding My ‘True Self’ As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
In my young-adult struggle with sexual identity, both legalistic condemnation and progressive license left me floundering.
Christianity Today
White House Down
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

June 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.