Sunday, June 30, 2013

Now That's What I'm Talking About! A non-spoilery review of White House Down

A couple of weeks ago, I saw Man of Steel and came away disappointed because of the lack of character development, sufficient character motivation, and wanton destruction with no thought to the consequences. 

Today, I'm here to say that White House Down was, surprisingly, a far better movie. I know, right?!

Those who pay attention to such things tend to go into a Roland Emmerich movie expecting something fun, funny, and full of action with the highest stakes imaginable. A true popcorn movie that you pay to see simply to be entertained. I found much more, and think this is his best film since Independence Day.

Emmerich has done his share of wanton destruction, so it was really nice to find him fairly restrained with this movie. Things blow up, but they're specific and non-gratuitous. The writing was solid, the character development just enough to make us care about the people we're watching. I know that makes it unfair to compare this to Man of Steel, because they were trying to do two very different things. One was a one-day event while the other spanned a lifetime. Still...

The opening of the movie was nicely tense. If you have a basic idea of the storyline, you know right away, as each person is introduced, what is going to happen to them. I found the initial invasion a bit too easy, though they did set up why that was. I just thought someone would have fought back, at least had time to draw his weapon. But that minor complaint was offset by great actors doing a great job, from the big names (James Woods!) to the unknowns (that bad guy who referenced Speed with such deliciousness!). Especially good was the actress who played Channing Tatum's daughter, who brought off a tricky combination of terror and bravery with aplomb.

Number One and I give this two enthusiastic thumbs up!


Anonymous said...

Nice review Natalie. You can't take any of this seriously, which is why it's also a wee bit of fun to enjoy.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Thanks, dtmmr! :)