The Conversation

'White House Down' Is Not Subtle

Last night I had the opportunity to attend the D.C. premiere of "White House Down" organized by Mamarazzi.  It opens nationwide next Friday.  Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Channing Tatum and other stars walked the red carpet outside the Georgetown theater while hundreds of a mostly female crowd screamed. 

Just before the movie began, the actors and director came in and talked to the audience.  Unfortunately, Tatum remained fully dressed as he told us that this was the first movie in which he played a father and that he is now a father in real life.  The group of mommybloggers swooned.  Jamie Foxx said he appreciated playing a President after his last role as a slave. 

In "White House Down" a group of men conspire to take down the White House for various Hollywood-approved reasons.  Some are right-wing racists (but I repeat myself).  Some are warmongers who disagree with the President (Foxx) removing all U.S. troops out of the Middle East.  Some are mercenaries who are just in it for the money.  While a wannabee Secret Service Agent (Tatum) and his daughter (Joey King) are on a White House tour, they get separated as the group of white, male homegrown terrorists take hostages and systematically "remove" all security personnel.

As many have pointed out, Hollywood is famous for using action-packed shoot-outs and explosions to sell their anti-violence message.  In this respect, "White House Down" is not subtle.  Dozens of people are shot point-blank and they dangle the possibility of murdering a 13 year old girl for the entire movie.  The anti-war president uses a rocket launcher as the audience cheers.  They blow up the U.S. Capitol and several sections of the White House (FYI, these are shown in the trailer, so not a spoiler).  The anti-war, anti-military message is also heavy-handed.  The group's leader hates the President's anti-war policies for personal and political reasons.  Even as the President is running through an unsecure White House rigged with explosives and being chased by gun-wielding terrorists he manages to say the phrase "industrial military complex."  Of course, the only way two men could face down a group of heavily-armed terrorists is by using the same artillery.  Hand-held rocket launchers: the great equalizer!

All of this aside, it was interesting to get a behind the scenes view of the White House.  I'm able to enjoy Channing Tatum, I mean, a, uh, film even though it has a heavy-handed political message.  It's now just a fact of life that right-leaning moviegoers must put aside their political views to enjoy some movies.  It's also worth mentioning that there are so many cheesy lines that it becomes impossible to take the movie's political message seriously.  Be on the look out for the President's eye-rolling f-bomb and his obsession with his Air Jordans.  

Generally, "White House Down" is worth seeing because of the inside view into the White House and the military action scenes.  The mommyblogger audience and I had no problem cheering the "industrial military complex." 

One final note, Tatum finally takes his shirt off about one hour into the movie. 


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