Put Bruce Willis here instead of Channing Tatum and what you get is Die Hard at the White House. Absolutely no changes required to the script whatsoever.

Because John McLane is not new to the idea of fighting bad guys with a little help from an unusual partner. He did that in Die Hard with a Vengeance and A Good Day to Die Hard.

Unfortunately, as talented as Channing Tatum is, and funny enough to pull off a 21 Jump Street, he is just not Willis. And when it comes to wrong man at the wrong place at the wrong time and killing bad guys, there is just one John McLane.

Emmerich’s White House Down, despite the filmmaker’s fascination for disaster, is different from the Die Hard films only to the extent that here John McLane teams up with the president of the United States of America to go on a shooting spree all around, as the White House goes down.

Emmerich is like a boy with a huge toy set — only that his toy set is a White House life-size replica — and he shows us he can do whatever he wants with it. Blow up the dome, send the bulletproof ‘Beast’ (presidential limo) flying into the presidential pool, set the whole building on fire, send missiles, stop missiles... and as preposterous and ridiculous every plot twist sounds, there is no denying that it is great popcorn entertainment.

Luckily for us, the makers do seem to be in on the joke too. They know there’s absolutely no chance we are going to take any bit of this seriously. So after setting up a political thriller with a twist of conspiracy, the writers probably went: “Naah! It’s now getting too boring, let’s have the president fire a machine gun, a bazooka or something! Let’s make them sing ‘Bad Boys, Bad Boys...’ Too much?”

The D is not silent as the president goes Django.

Jamie Foxx has a blast as the president and the action hero’s nagging, bickering buddy. And Tatum himself dodges bullets like he is the new Rajnikanth of Hollywood before the bad guys hold his daughter hostage.

You can see Sunny Deol reprise this role in a Hindi film or Captain Vijayakanth do a Tamil version. Actually, they may have already done it years ago.

White House Down is a guilty pleasure of epic proportions, probably funnier, if you catch the dubbed versions, in Hindi or Tamil.

Genre: Action

Director: Roland Emmerich

Cast: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, James Woods

Storyline: An officer who fails his interview with the Secret Service finds himself in the middle of a terrorist attack at the White House

Bottomline: So cheesy, so bad that it is great fun

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English Cinema ReviewsOctober 17, 2011