If you saw Olympus Has Fallen when it came out earlier this year, then there’s almost no need to give a synopsis for White House Down, since the two films have virtually identical set-ups. As the latest example of Hollywood clone movies, it’s probably more useful to give an outline of the differences between the two movies rather than the similarities.
Whereas Olympus Has Fallen starred Gerard Butler as a disgraced former member of the Presidential guard, White House Down‘s protagonist John Cale (Channing Tatum) is a Washington police officer who is trying to get a job on the Presidential guard (which is the first step towards becoming a disgraced former member of the Presidential guard).
White House Down, like Olympus Has Fallen, sees the President of the United States (Jamie Foxx) kidnapped by invading forces, but in this case it appears that the kidnapping is only a temporary setback. Whereas Olympus Has Fallen featured the antagonists du jour, the North Koreans, as the attacking force attempting to gain access to the USA’s supply of nuclear weapons, White House Down‘s invaders are a mysterious paramilitary group with unclear motives.
White House Down hits theaters at the end of next month, and Apple has just released an extended trailer with over four minutes of action, most of it focusing on John Cale and President James Sawyer’s struggle to survive the invasion of the White House and free the hostages being held there – which include John’s daughter, Emily (Joey King).
This is definitely the most light-hearted of the trailers that we’ve seen so far, coming across like a mix between Die Hard and a buddy-cop comedy. Considering the fairly outlandish nature of the plot, it’s probably for the best that White House Down doesn’t take itself too seriously. Dramatic aspects – such as the relationship between John and his daughter – seem painfully clichéd (he missed her talent show, she calls him by his first name instead of calling him ‘Dad’); but if nothing else, the film should be at least be a fun ride.
Given the emphasis on the job interview at the beginning of the trailer, perhaps White House Down will end with Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character explaining that the whole ordeal – including the explosions, the shooting and the destruction of Air Force One – were all part of a very elaborate and rigorous entry exam for the Secret Service. Even if it isn’t said that explicitly, it’s a pretty safe bet that John Cale will be due a job offer by the end of the movie.
White House Down is out in theaters on June 28th, 2013.