STARRING: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Joey King, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Lance Reddick, Nicolas Wright, Jimmi Simpson, Michael Murphy, Kevin Rankin and James Woods
While on a tour of the White House with his young daughter, a Capitol policeman springs into action to save his child and protect the president from a heavily armed group of paramilitary invaders.
On his way to the White House, John Cale, who is a United States Capitol Police Officer now assigned to the Speaker of the House Eli Raphelson, is arriving for an interview for the Secret Service, led by Carol Finnerty, an old acquaintance and the interview doesn’t go according to plan. He and his daughter Emily take on a tour of the White House while they’re there and unfortunately for them as a bomb goes off at the Captiol, the White House comes under attack by a group of mercenaries.
Okay so the plot sounds very Olympus Has Fallen like, but the difference being that rather than a massive plane armed to the nines attacking the White House for the mercenaries to attack the White House in Olympus, here it’s the bombing of the Capitol that causes the distraction for the mercenaries to make their move. While Olypmus Has Fallen had kept the serious tone of the film throughout, here Emmerich attempts to balance the action with some elements of comedy.
Channing Tatum is solid in the lead role, he’s likeable and throws down here in the action sequences and has good chemistry with the scenes he shares with Jamie Foxx, rather than the role of a one man army saving the day, this film has Cole partnering up with President Sawyer, which gives us a nice change of pace for a film like this. Jason Clarke brings a certain presence to the screen as lead mercenary Stenz, Maggie Gyllenhaal is fine but her character is somewhat underused and as child actresses are, Joey King done well in her part as, forgive me, some young actors in them roles can be deemed annoying but she was good as Cole’s daughter Emily.
The main problem though that I couldn’t accept though was the final act of James Woods decision as Head of the Secret Service making this suicidal attempt mission of taking out the President for a specific reason, then the reveal of the main person behind the hole attack in the first place, mainly because the motivations don’t feel that just cause, the reason feels forced and limited, more of a ‘really?’ and seems far fetched for them to go through all this trouble (and really, some stretching the limitations of the audience for authenticity) for that to be the reason. Some of the CGI is a bit shady, some of the ‘killshots’ as it were are held back by the rating as there is one particular scene where Cole unleashes the beast of a machine gun on someone, at close quarters, a ton load of bullets, yet not one spot of blood or a body part missing. I don’t know why but I couldn’t help but laugh at that.
It’s a standard return to Emmerich action form, it’s watchable but don’t think too much about the plot and you might just have a fun time watching it. 6/10