Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Entertaining Summer Escape 17 Years after 'Independence Day,' Roland Emmerich Returns to D.C. and Summer Moviegoers with 'White House Down,' Starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Entertaining Summer Escape 17 Years after 'Independence Day,' Roland Emmerich Returns to D.C. and Summer Moviegoers with 'White House Down,' Starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx

Article excerpt

Takeover of the White House and kidnapping of the U.S. president. Ho-hum, Hollywood. Didn't we see this in March?

Yes, but "Olympus Has Fallen" starring Gerard Butler was R- rated, far bloodier and more violent. "White House Down" is PG-13, pairs Channing Tatum as an aspiring Secret Service agent with Jamie Foxx as the president and throws in a precocious 11-year-old girl, to boot.

It seems bigger in every way including budget and scope, slicker and more mainstream but even more preposterous in terms of the plot and loosey-goosey security in Washington, D.C., landmarks. The leader of this takeover is homegrown and gets not one but two reasons for wanting to watch the world burn.

Mr. Tatum portrays John Cale, a divorced Capitol policeman assigned to the Speaker of the House (Richard Jenkins) but hoping to become a Secret Service agent.

He bounced around before enlisting, serving three tours in Afghanistan and belatedly earning his college degree. Now, he's trying to be a more attentive dad to his daughter, Emily (Joey King, alternately and nicely spunky or terrified).

She is a bright girl who loves politics and is an enthusiastic supporter of President Sawyer (Mr. Foxx). As the story opens, the president has announced a bold and controversial plan to withdraw all American troops from the Mideast and has returned to Washington, D.C., while his wife and daughter remain in Paris.

Cale has called in some favors and landed an interview for the Secret Service with, it turns out, an old classmate (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who does not think highly of him. "I'll start at the bottom. Just give me a chance," he pleads, as she rejects the prospect of him joining the elite team overseen by retiring Martin Walker (James Woods).

When an explosion rocks the Capitol and the White House is taken over by a paramilitary group with guns ablazing, Cale gets the world's most intense unplanned job tryout. He ends up protecting the president, even as he becomes separated from his daughter, who eludes and then attracts the attention of the hostage-takers. …

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