Roland Emmerich is making the rounds dropping bits of news about the upcoming sequel to Independence Day, but his current film is the one critics are focused on and judging from the reviews, they didn’t stay focused for long. While White House Down is in store for a whooping at the weekend box office at the hands of The Heat, critics aren’t fond of the film either as it’s a rotten tomato on the movie review site RottenTomatoes.com.
Across the board it seems critics are split on the film as it’s hovers at or just above 50 percent when breaking reviews into all critics and then top critics. Interestingly enough, top critics are actually rating the film higher than everyone else is but 53 percent is a rating that can be shifted by one or two ratings.
But it appears most of the heavy hitters have weighed in and among FlickSided’s most trusted reviewers, only Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film a positive review. As for Richard Roeper, Peter Travers, Joe Morgenstern and James Berardinelli, the film is a stinker at best and laughably stupid otherwise.
White House Down is what it’s advertised to be: a Roland Emmerich Film. Those familiar with the director’s work won’t be surprised by anything in the movie.
While his review of the film was overall scathing, Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal did set aside some kind words for Channing Tatum.
The movie may or may not have validated Mr. Tatum as an action hero—he should still study Tom Cruise’s action films for lessons in stylized running—but it certainly displays his energy, bemuscled build and easy charm.
As for Peter Travers, who unlike others of his age is open to really bad films and trying to spin them as alright young people flicks, hated the film. Before you read his one-star review remember that he defended the abortion that was Project X and tried to make it sound like something you should waste two hours struggling through.
I’ve got nothing against a dumb action movie on a hot summer night. What’s not to like about escapism … White House Down, rated PG-13 but as crass and cynical as a Michael Bay movie, is a depressing experience. A manufactured hit that plays to the basest instincts of its audience. The poster for this movie should read: Hello, Suckers!
For the sake of being fair though, Claudia Puig from USA Today have the film a good review but hardly a glowing one. Her defense of White House Down was that it’s purely an escapist film that’s not in any way pretending for a minute to be an Oscar contender.
With its well-choreographed mayhem, Down (* * ½ out of four; rated PG-13, opens in select cities Thursday and nationwide Friday) is an over-the top,Die Hard-style thriller that will make pulses race more than the recent, similarly themed Olympus Has Fallen.
Overall expectations weren’t that high coming into the film and the fact that nothing came close to meeting the low hope for the film isn’t at all a surprise. It sounds like if you’re into getting out to the cinema to escape for a few hours, White House Down is a good option. But if escape is really all you’re looking for then see The Heat or simply put off that trip to the theaters a few more days and see something like The Lone Ranger.