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Movie review: Call this one 'White House Dumb'

Published June 28, 2013 8:49 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"White House Down" isn't so much the second terrorists-take-over-the-White House movie in three months — after "Olympus Has Fallen" — as it is director Roland Emmerich's fourth remake of his 1996 blockbuster, "Independence Day." (It joins "Godzilla," "Day After Tomorrow" and "2012" as variations on a theme.) And the alien attack was much more plausible than this unintentionally hilarious action flick.

Channing Tatum stars as Secret Service wannabe John Cale, who, along with his 11-year-old daughter (Joey King), is in the White House when the most politically correct group of terrorists you've ever seen takes over. Cale ends up being the guy who has to protect the president (Jamie Foxx, who seems to think he's in an "In Living Color" sketch).

There are some great action scenes and special effects, but the increasingly ludicrous plot will leave you howling with laughter when it reaches what's supposed to be the big, dramatic climax. Which is followed by still more stupidity.

"White House Down" is not without entertainment value — it's a hoot. But you're laughing at it, not with it. Hhj

'White House Down'

Opens Friday, June 28, at theaters everywhere; rated PG-13 for violence; 137 minutes.