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'White House Down' has lots of action to little effect

'White House Down' star Channing Tatum is full of panache, but Jamie Foxx as the president never lets loose.

By Peter RainerFilm critic / June 28, 2013

Channing Tatum (r.) and Jamie Foxx (l.) star in 'White House Down.'

Reiner Bajo/Sony Columbia Pictures/AP


Director Roland Emmerich, having already laid waste to the White House in “Independence Day,” is back for seconds in “White House Down,” in which D.C. cop Channing Tatum’s John Cale turns into an impromptu bodyguard to Jamie Foxx’s President James Sawyer after a gang of nasties moves in.

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Tatum muscles his way through the role with panache, while Foxx never gets a chance to break loose. (Would breaking loose be considered unpresidential?) John’s young daughter (Joey King) is also trapped inside the White House, and she disports herself mightily. Maybe she’ll get her own movie franchise.

Emmerich isn’t strenuous about setting a consistent tone. Action movie blow-ups are interlaced with dumb jokes and slapstick. He’s an anything-for-effect guy, but some of his effects are none too effective. Grade: C+ (Rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence including intense gunfire and explosions, some language and a brief sexual image.)


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