Just a quick reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, it may be best to move on!
In the wake of a terrorist attack on the White House, Mike Banning is the only Secret Service agent inside the building who can rescue the president.
What I Liked
- By now, regular readers of this blog should know that I have a massive interest in the American presidency, and this extends to fictional presidents. So I was always going to want to see this, and I loved being inside the White House for just about the entirety of the film, and watching the people around the presidency go to work trying to solve the crisis.
- I really like Aaron Eckhart, I always think he’s pretty good value for money, and he’s good in most roles. He’s not necessarily the most presidential of people, but I think he did an acceptable job.
- Gerard Butler is not my favourite person in the world (I have a sneaking suspicion he’s a bit of a dick), but I don’t mind watching him act, and I think this is pretty much his perfect role – action hero. He was OK as Mike Banning. Mainly while he was doing the action-y stuff, rather than all the talky stuff at the beginning.
- I enjoyed most of the performances actually; specifically Rick Yune, Angela Bassett, Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo.
- It’s a shameless action film, and I love a shameless action film. I don’t need it to be particularly deep and meaningful, or take itself too seriously, I just want to be entertained, and I was entertained.
- Dylan McDermott is very attractive.
- The best line of the film definitely belongs to Butler, when he says “Why don’t you and I play a game of f*** off. You go first.”
What I Didn’t Like
- I like an action sequence as much as the next person, but the attack on Washington DC and the White House went on far too long for me. It doesn’t help that I was having a minor panic attack at the idea of how realistic it was, but seriously, I just wanted it to end.
- I try my hardest not to be that person who picks holes in a plot, unless they are gaping and totally distract from the film. I don’t want to be the person to point out that I don’t think the First Family would be traveling from Camp David on a really dangerous snowy night for a benefit. Nor that the president’s son would have an agent assigned to him whose sole responsibility would be to stay with him and ensure his safety at all costs. So I won’t.
- The ending is just so… American. I know that’s probably a silly thing to say, but there’s not really any tension to be found in an American film about an American president in peril. They exist so you can have a closing speech about America leading the way in the fight against terrorism/aliens/weather phenomena.
So, in conclusion, I enjoyed it for the spectacle of it, and I thought it was entertaining, but it’s not something I would rush to watch again. There’s another film on the same subject coming out later this year, called White House Down, with Channing Tatum as Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx as Aaron Eckhart. I don’t really like either of these actors, but I think the film is probably going to be better. I’ll see, of course I’ll see it, but I’m not sure how I’m going to like it. We’ll see.