Summer is upon us. Just in case the sweltering heat and kids bemoaning their boredom didn’t clue you in on that, the arrival of the Summer Blockbuster is surefire evidence. My fourteen year old daughter and I were among the guests at the DC premier of White House Down, staring Jamie Fox and Channing Tatum which will be vying for your attention in theaters this summer.
Let’s be honest, they had us a Channing.
Sticking rather closely to the typical “Summer Blockbuster” formula, White House Down is an action flick, packed with a plethora of explosions and a less-than-probable plot.
Without giving away too much; crooks with serious physiological issues, caring huge chips on their shoulders, plot to take over the country with a big bombs, commando-style raids and a Master Hacker.
Tatum plays the part of a Capital Policeman guarding the Speaker of the House, whilst pining to become a Secret Service Agent on the Presidential detail. Oh, he happens to be an Afghanistan war vet, and a single dad too. In an attempt to win the affections of his brooding and disappointed daughter, he brings her along on a to a job interview in with the Secret Service at the White House. (improbable plot twist number one)
When he gets shot down for the job, by none other than the lovely Maggie Gyllenhal* , he sneaks his daughter into a tour of the White House. Then bad guys show up at the Capital building, things start to blow up, every armed and highly-trained guard, Secret Service Agent and Marine in the White House gets shot. The tour group gets taken hostage and the President finds himself in need of rescue. Cue Channing.
Jamie Fox plays the role of President in a performance that -thankfully- allows space for some of his comedic genius**. His one-liners, combined with some great local references -the infamous DC red light cameras clock Blackhawk helicopters speeding past- were the saving grace of this movie for me. Outside of that, don’t expect any of Oscar buzz that often surrounds performances by Fox, Gyllenhaall, or even James Woods (also in the picture). Do expect lots of things to get shot, blown up or crashed, a whole lot of cliche and great CGI work. If action flicks are your thing, this is your movie. At the very least it was entertaining.
Note: Much to the chagrin of most, Mr. Tatum only looses his jacket, tie and dress shirt. Sorry ladies.
Now, to answer your questions about the premier, red carpet, etc. Yes, Channing Tatum is beautiful in person too. Oddly though, he is rather smaller in stature than he appears on film. Yes, Jamie Fox is cool! Yes, Maggie Gyllenhaall is AMAZING! She told a story about breastfeeding her 8 month old in between takes. This caused a wall of cheers to erupt from the audience of mostly women, which literally made her take a step back.
YES, I am now the coolest mom ever for taking my daughter to a movie premier that put her about 8 feet away from Channing Tatum. Me, FTW.
* (also a former girlfriend… didn’t see that one coming did ya?)
**In the screening event Jamie Fox turned on the charm and was hilarious, often causing Channing Tatum to blush. My daughter’s take-away from this was, “Man, Jamie Fox is funny. He could be a comedian!”… Thus proving how old I am and how far Fox has come as an actor.