Not to mention the fact that this movie was just fine a few months ago – when it was Olympus Has Fallen. I mean, really? We needed another White House being taken over and blown up?
Olympus was okay as a popcorn flick, but the problem this movie has is that it just becomes so over-the-top and ridiculous, and every single character is a complete idiot. It makes the movie unenjoyable. And I don’t want to hear that critics are just too critical of movies like this. I just gave a good review to a friggin’ zombie movie a few weeks ago!
A zombie movie with a weak performance by the main character!
It’s strange how early on you realize how dopey a movie is going to be. When a cop (Channing Tatum) that has a job protecting the Speaker of the House (Richard Jenkins), we hear Jenkins tell him “Sorry this detail is so boring.”
When Tatum gets a job interview for a Secret Service job – we see that he dated the woman (Maggie Gyllenhaal) interviewing him. Oh, and he brings his daughter to the job interview, because that’s what you do when you go to job interviews, right? When they sneak on with a White House tour, you wonder how fast security would swoop in on folks doing that. Since I had recently been on one and know how strict they are with security during those – that’s when about 10 unrealistic things happen (the girl gets to whip out a cell phone and interview the President, she gets to go to the bathroom by herself, etc.).
Really though, let’s not pick apart all the flaws. We’d spend just as long as the two hour movie was. Besides, you can glance at the President (Jamie Foxx) shooting a rocket launcher in the back of a limo on the White House lawn in the trailer to deduce that it’s not going to be serious cinema. Yet, it can’t even be fun on the level that movies like this can if they’re done right.
There’s something that happens early on in the movie that I won’t mention, because it would be a spoiler. Yet, it would’ve been a bit more interesting if you didn’t see it coming down Pennsylvania Avenue. That character spews about a million clichés from his mouth and you wonder why they tipped their hand so early with him. There are other plot lines and characters that are equally ridiculous later in the film.
Of course, Channing Tatum doesn’t get the job with the Secret Service. In fact, his credentials are so bad, you wonder why they even bothered to call him in for an interview. Oh wait…it’s so he can save the President (and I’m guessing get the job), save his daughter, and keep World War III from happening on his watch.
There were so many similarities to Olympus Has Fallen, you’ll wonder if they had the same screenwriter. You’ll also hear two lines that were from Jack Nicholson movies.
The one thing the picture does have going are a number of humorous moments that worked.
For the next White House movie, I just hope the writer/director can stay away from these things:
— the media being allowed on the lawn when all hell is breaking lose and gun fire and bombs are going off
— Presidents that aren’t spouting presidential history and trivia questions all the time
— Bad guys that have nerdy glasses, play classical pieces like Beethoven while they work, and have a gimmick like eating lollipops while conducting their terrorizing work
— And stop with the horrible dad that misses their kids performance in school, only to redeem themselves by saving the world
It would’ve been nice to see James Woods, Richard Jenkins, and Jason Clarke (The Great Gatsby, Zero Dark Thirty) in a better movie.
All that being said, there were a few cool scenes with helicopters; the car chase was mildly interesting, and a few of the jokes worked. They could’ve easily trimmed 30 minutes off this movie, made it a little more realistic, and had a decent summer action flick. Instead, this merely gets 1 ½ stars out of 5.
The guy I brought with me liked it, as did most of the crowd. So if you saw the trailers and thought it looked good, you should probably go.