In March audiences were treated to the destruction of the Capitol in “Olympus Has Fallen,” a “Die Hard” knock-off featuring Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman. Three months later, we have another, this time starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx as the agent and the president, respectively.
WHD follows John Cale, a Capitol security officer who is trying to get a job on the President’s Secret Service. After his interview, he takes his daughter, a political aficionado on a tour of the White House, when terrorists strike. After blowing the Rotunda of the Capitol and successfully diverting attention from the White House, a team of men made up of a hacker(who will remind audiences a great deal of arms dealer Justin Hammer from “Iron Man 2” in his behavior), a group of white supremacists, a disavowed wet-works expert and a father seeking vengeance for his sons lost life in the Middle East conflicts.
When the White House is taken over, it is up to John Cale to get the President and his daughter out of the building before an even bigger plot can come into play, this one involving the nation’s cache of nuclear weapons.
While many of the scenes could be taken straight from “Olympus Has Fallen” the marked difference is the tone of the movies. Where “Olympus” was a dramatic action movie, WHD goes for the comedic angle. The lively banter and one-liners from both men keep the movie upbeat in spite of the setting. The line that got the most reaction was one from the trailers, when Foxx’s President Sawyer, having changed into more appropriate footwear, kicks a man in the face while yelling “Get your hands off my Jordans!” which elicited more than a few cheers.
A few mistakes along the way leads the terrorists to unveiling his, and his daughters identities, and then proceed to use his daughter to force Cale to give up the President.
In the newly invigorated cat and mouse game, Cale leads the group on a jaunt across the front lawn of the White House in The Beast, the reinforced car the president rides in in the motorcade.
Joey King,who has been in a slew of movies lately from a Ramona adaptation to playing young Talia al Ghul in “The Dark Knight Rises,” plays Emily Cale, the spunky daughter of John, who also happens to be an avid blogger. With her trusty camera, she is able to remove the anonimity the terrorists were hoping to retain by shooting video and uploading it for the world. Her tough demeanor lands her in more than one sticky situation, and it is her flag twirling skills that saves what remains of the White House from an aerial strike ordered by the last man in the terrorist ring, who just so happens to have been elevated to the most important position in the United States by this point.
What may have worked against this film at the box office(it’s not too late to see it thought!) was that it was the second film of the same premise released in three months and the fact that Jamie Foxx based his President Sawyer loosely on President Obama, alienting those who are not such big fans of our current president, as well as the ring of bad guys being played by all white men that, although all illustrating in some way a major concern of our nation in reality(wet-works, hackers, white supremacy), would most likely all be members of a certain political group.
From the trailers we saw the one liners flowing from the pair, and they are there in abundance. This movie is funny, without even trying to be obscene, which is a refreshing change. This was probably one of the funniest movie in a while that didn’t rely on naked body parts, drugs or sexual inuendo to use to punctuate the jokes. Which makes it a great option for parents who tend toward safer material for their 13+ kids to watch.
I give this one a B. It’s not original material, but it’s the funniest movie coming from a comedy subgenre to hit theatres in a while that is safe to take the whole family to.