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12 FILM Issue 55 / 2013 WHITE HOUSE DOWN Roland Emmerich returns to the titular landmark he so famously destroyed in 1996's Independence Day for this action-packed romp. September 13th Anyone who has seen the trailer for White House Down will already have had a sense of déjà vu waft over them, but fortunately the image of Obama's abode flaming like a Jacko'-lantern still packs a punch. Other Emmerich hallmarks – box-ticking plotting, pointless characters, oodles of cheese – are also in attendance, but the overall tone is also more fun and jovial than any of the director's recent efforts. It seems the key ingredient is the chemistry between Jamie Foxx's President Sawyer and Channing Tatum's wise-cracking cop John Cale. They team up to take on the terrorists who have so rudely interrupted the latter's tour of the White House with his daughter (Joey King), after having been refused a job with the Secret Service thanks to a botched interview with Maggie Gyllenhaal's bureaucrat. Sawyer is obviously modeled on the most lauded aspects of Obama, and Foxx brilliantly packages the POTUS's cool air and penchant for slick, witty deliveries to create a crowd-pleasing character that even right-wingers can appreciate. Tatum is on more immediately assured ground, as his Cale is essentially a tribute to Die Hard's John McClane –sweat-and-blood-stained vest and all. But in all fairness, if anyone could conceivably pose a threat to Bruce Willis, it could only be Magic Mike himself. As the plot unfurls, King's politically - not to mention YouTube – savvy daughter becomes increasingly embroiled within the terrorists' scheme, allowing Tatum to flex his acting muscles, as well as leaping and crunching their way through the film's many action scenes. For the record, these are mostly strong and consistent, with a bullet-laden car chase on the White House lawn being a particular highlight. The attacker's motives may seem a little glib, but White House Down is blessed with the kind of title that both entices and warns wary viewers of its daftness. Leave your cynicism at the door and you may just appreciate this last-ditch stab at summer blockbuster-induced euphoria.

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