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FILM REVIEW: WHITE HOUSE DOWN (12A)

Despite Independence Day director Roland Emmerich dicing up an entertaining actioner – it was stupid to release a second White House-attacked-by-terrorists film so close to the last one.

That said film was Olympus Has Fallen – which was pound-for-pound better – and even though we’ve had two asteroid-hitting-earth (Armageddon and Deep Impact) and two volcano-eruption (Volcano and Dante’s Peak) films in close succession before, without affecting one another, there’s only so much cinema-goers can take nowadays.

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After my little rant, let’s get back to business. And that business is Channing Tatum as wannabe-secret service agent John Cale, who, with his daughter (Joey King), get embroiled in a – this time ‘curveball’ American-based – terrorist attack by a team of disgruntled ex-paramilitary types led by Zero Dark Thirty’s Jason Clarke.

This is seemingly in retaliation to Obama-alike President Sawyer’s (Jamie Foxx) goody-two-shoes approach to world peace (okay, well maybe not quite alike) that is alienating warmongers from making serious cash from military sales.

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In pretty much the same way as Gerard Butler did in Olympus, Tatum works through the bad guys in appropriately eclectic ‘kicking-ass’ fashion in an attempt to save the president from getting captured etc.

And for the most part this is perfectly palatable fare from Emmerich, who after a decent hour or so opening can’t resist delving into his usual over-the-top action scenes that take the film from possibly realistic to truly ludicrous.

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It also takes far too long to reach the climax – complete with ‘naff’ twist ending – but Tatum and Foxx (if totally unbelievable in a presidential capacity) have an entertaining chemistry that always keeps it the right side of watchable.

It may have pretty much ‘bombed’ at the box-office after a release date that should’ve been delayed by execs – but it shows Emmerich has enough in his tank to still offer a popcorn-crunching blockbuster yarn.

Which is particularly useful with Independence Day 2 in the early stages of production.

Gavin Miller

Cast: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Joey King, Richard Jenkins, Nicolas Wright, Michael Murphy, Jimmi Simpson, Lance Reddick, Matt Craven, Jake Weber, Kevin Rankin, Rachelle Lefevre, Jackie Geary, Garcelle Beauvais

Running Time: 2hrs 15mins

Director: Roland Emmerich

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