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WHITE HOUSE DOWN (2013)

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WHITE HOUSE DOWN (2013)

Friday, 28 February 2014 12:00

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Written by 

The Buzz:

        Channing Tatum plays a Capitol Policeman who's dream job is getting into the Secret Service. But on the same day he's denied the opportunity, mercenaries take over the White House, trapping him, his daughter, hostages, and President Jamie Foxx inside. Now it's up to Tatum to save the day in this action-thriller!

 

Life of the Party:

        Let's get this out of the way quick: in the world of mindless-summer-action movies, White House Down is a fairly strong contender. However, it's still a mindless action film, so don't go into it with high standards in mind.

        The action scenes in the film are pretty decent, with enough explosions and gunfire to keep you refilling that popcorn bowl. And the production values are pretty top-notch, which you pretty much expect from a film with an estimated $150 million budget. All in all, it's exactly what you expect from a big-budget summer action movie.

 

Potential Hangovers:

        So it's impossible to talk about this film without comparing it to Olympus Has Fallen. They both have nearly the exact same plot, and came out right about the same time. My biggest complaint about Olympus was that many of the characters, especially the bad guys, were pretty poorly written, such that I had no idea what their motivations were, or their reasons for doing what they were doing were so bad/glossed over that it weakened the whole thing for me. But this was largely made up for by having some really good, realistic(ish...kinda...maybe...I dunno) action.

        White House Down is nearly the exact opposite; characters are fully written, and have clear and distinct personalities and motivations (most of the main ones anyway). But everything else about it just comes off as so contrived (really? The Presidential Limo houses a chrome-plated RPG in the back seat?), and in many cases cliché, which brings down the rest of the film.

        The acting, while mostly solid, does have some obvious lows that snap you out of the experience long enough to say “really, that was the best they could do there?” Which is disappointing, because in many cases I've seen these same actors do much better work, so I don't think they're to blame.

        And additionally, White House Down has such a ham-fisted political message that it runs the risk of alienating statistically half of you. This is not to say that there's no place for politics in film (I'm not allowed to think that ever since I declared Dr. Strangelove one of my favorite films), but this movie is full of political cheap shots, as well as having a sanctimonious attitude that I found rather distracting and a little off-putting.

 

The Vibe: Casual Gathering, Man-Cave, Large Party

        Like 90% of the films we here are Tanked Matinee like to watch, White House Down is really best served with some friends and some drinks. Perhaps as part of a movie night featuring White House Down/Olympus Has Fallen/Air Force One? Actually...that doesn't sound like such a bad idea for a theme night...[EDITOR'S NOTE: When you think about it, you could make an argument for adding Escape From New York into that mix...]

        White House Down is also fairly mindless enough that it can serve as background explosions and gunfire for your large party; there's really no particular plot point that you absolutely have to hear/notice to comprehend what's going on at any point in the film.

 

Plus/Minus:

+ Just about everything you want in your summer action film

+/- It's a mindless summer action film

- Very contrived, cliché plot

- Some noticeable lows

 

Drinking Game Ideas:

~ Drink every time someone mentions a previous President (Lincoln, etc.; if you really pay attention you'll realize this rule can also refer to some of the characters in this film)

~ Drink every time someone rolls, dives, jumps through a window, etc.

~ Drink every time someone mentions the Peace Talks/Peace Proposal

~ Drink for every explosion

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About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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