Now, here’s a role for Jamie Foxx: President of the United States. He has presence. He has dignity. He can pick up an automatic weapon and spray small-arms fire into the chests of evildoers.
Unfortunately, White House Down makes him a supporting character. That’s ok, however, because the lead is the surprisingly versatile Channing Tatum. Together, the two of them run and gun through a film that’s basically Die Hard in the White House, and they do so with gusto and wit.
In my review of TheAmazing Spider-Man 2, I took that film to task for being nothing more than a formulaic product. The film’s great failing, however, wasn’t in the fact that it was product: it was that it was poor product. White House Down is, unabashedly, product. But it’s good product, with excellent casting, slick effects and editing, and beats that flow one into the next.
Do you like rocket launchers? White House Down has rocket launchers. Do you like machine guns? White House Down has machine guns. How about genius villains who play Beethoven during their moments of triumph (I told you this was Die Hard in the White House!)? Spunky kids? Grizzled veterans who say things like, “I was wrong about you?” Villains who practically shriek “And I would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids?” Oh, yeah. White House Down has all of these, and more, but it sells them with such glee that you can’t help but bop right along with it.
All this, and a Jamie Foxx on his game. What more could you ask for?