White House Down Blu-ray Review
Despite all common sense to the contrary, I can’t help but like Channing Tatum. He’s a very bland actor with little ability to play anything other than Channing Tatum, but I still like the guy and I find myself invested in his characters in spite of all reasoning. In WHITE HOUSE DOWN, Channing Tatum plays Channing Tatum Cale, a veteran in the middle of a tour of the White House with his daughter that gets trapped inside during a terrorist takeover. In the pantheon of DIE HARD rip-offs, WHITE HOUSE DOWN might be the most obvious. As Tatum was running around on screen in a white tank-top with a machine gun strapped to his shoulder, I kept waiting for him to yell Yipee-kay-yay. Thankfully, he never does, but the film follows the DIE HARD outline almost to the letter, meaning that virtually all suspense or drama is removed from the film.
That’s frustrating for sure, but it doesn’t kill the movie. Because it came out only a few months later, comparisons to OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN are inevitable. The two movies are extremely similar, with the one glaring difference being who is actually taking over the White House. WHITE HOUSE DOWN presented the idea that the “terrorists” taking over were actually organized by the head of White House security, who is hell bent on blaming the President for his son’s death. I found that to be a somewhat plausible scenario since I think the only way anyone could possibly take over the White House would be to do it from a high ranking position within the Secret Service. That’s not to say WHITE HOUSE DOWN is believable, because it certainly is not, but at least the idea from an aggregate level makes sense.
If you’ve seen any of Roland Emmerich’s previous films (DAY AFTER TOMORROW, 2012, GODZILLA, to name a few), then you know that he has a thing for high concept action with little common sense. He’s like a less stylish version of Michael Bay and WHITE HOUSE DOWN fits pretty well into his resume. The ingredients were here for a summer blockbuster, but Emmerich’s style and lack of focus at times hindered the film from really embracing what it was; a simple action movie. The audience wanted to see Channing Tatum kick bad guy butt and blow things up, and while we got a lot of that, the dialogue and plot details more often than not stood in the way. So perhaps the biggest issue with WHITE HOUSE DOWN is that it didn’t know what it was. Its counterpart knew it was nothing but a cheesy action movie, but WHITE HOUSE DOWN tried too hard to be something it wasn’t and that ultimately keeps it from being as fun as it should be.
WHITE HOUSE DOWN isn’t anything new, but it’s an effective action film that is entertaining for two hours. I know that’s not the most glowing endorsement, but for a movie starring Channing Tatum and directed by Roland Emmerich, “efficient” is pretty nice.
WHITE HOUSE DOWN BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: Well, at least WHITE HOUSE DOWN looks spectacular. I’ve been disappointed with Sony titles lately, but WHD looks great.
Audio: The audio in WHITE HOUSE DOWN was just as impressive.
Gag Reel (6:03): The cast can’t stop laughing at themselves.
White House Down featurettes (59:13): On the back cover and in the menu, there are 13 featurettes broken out separately. I’m not sure why these were separated, but they look like they were part of one long featurette. I assume it was to make it look like there was more on here than there is, so I decided to review them together. Of the 13 featurettes, the longest one is around 9 minutes, but the average time is about 4.5 minutes. The most interesting of the pieces focus on the construction of the Presidential limo and the various set pieces. The others are more fluff pieces where the cast and crew sit around and talk about how great everyone is.