‘White House Down’ is an action-packed thriller

White House Down is out now on DVD.
White House Down is out now on DVD.

In ‘White House Down’ John Cale (Channing Tatum) is an ex-soldier who is assigned to protect Speaker Of The House, Eli Raphelson (Richard Jenkins).

However, he would much rather be part of the Secret Service detail protecting President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx).

An interview for promotion conducted by Carol Finnerty (Maggie Gyllenhaal) goes badly and John licks his wounds by joining his daughter Emily (Joey King) on a guided tour of the White House just as a heavily armed paramilitary group led by Emil Stenz (Jason Clarke) prepares to take control of the building.

‘White House Down’ is a preposterous, high-octane action thriller, which unfolds during a terrorist attack on the US President’s iconic seat of power.

The similarities to ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ starring Gerard Butler are inescapable.

On the surface, the two films follow the same narrative trajectory, pitting a single man against hordes of gun-toting adversaries on a suicide mission to rescue the stricken President from diabolical captors.

Both films cower in the shadow of nuclear Armageddon but ‘White House Down’ boasts more creativity with its protracted action sequences, including a hysterically overblown car chase around the grounds of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, replete with the President leaning out of a moving vehicle armed with a rocket launcher.

Channing dodges bullets and certain death at every explosive turn while Foxx manages to retain his presidential cool in the face of extreme provocation.

Screenwriter James Vanderbilt provides director Roland Emmerich with the full array of action film cliches and contrivances, including a cherubic child in peril and at least one traitor in the upper echelons of power.

‘White House Down’ (Cert 12, 131 mins, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Action/Thriller, also available to buy DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99/Limited Edition Steelbook Blu-ray £27.99)

Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Joey King, Richard Jenkins, Michael Murphy, Lance Reddick, Rachelle Lefevre.

Also out this week: ‘R.I.P.D.’, ‘A Belfast Story’, ‘The Colony’, ‘Hours’ and ‘In A World...’