Every so often two movies with virtually identical plots arrives in theaters within the same year, and in 2013 that trend continues with Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down (a.k.a. 'Die Hard in the White House'). The former enjoyed a lucrative opening weekend at the box office this month, after managing to please many viewers looking for a good dose of American kick-butt action (for a more in-depth analysis, listen to the SR Underground Podcast).
White House Down stars Channing Tatum as
Jack Bauer John Cale, a police officer who is touring the White House when a group of heavily-armed paramilitary forces invade. John springs into action, in order to protect the President (Jamie Foxx) and teach the baddies a lesson about what happens when you mess with the U.S. of A.
The movie was directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, 2012), drawing from a screenplay written by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, The Amazing Spider-Man). Rounding out the cast are people like Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty), Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Dark Knight), James Woods (Shark), Richard Jenkins (Killing Them Softly), Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight) and Joey King (Oz the Great and Powerful) as Tatum's daughter in the film.
Watch the trailer, then check out the White House Down poster (via Moviefone):
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Emmerich's White House movie, as you would expect, looks more grand-scale and melodramatic than Antoine Fuqua's Olympus Has Fallen. The White House Down trailer is somber and serious, but everyone should know better than to expect one of Emmerich's films to not have its fair share of campiness (among other recurring elements of his work).
In fact, if you take the mood and scope of Emmerich's past disaster blockbusters and swap "terrorists" in the place of "aliens" (ID4) or "environmental apocalypse" (The Day After Tomorrow, 2012) - then combine all that with a paint-by-numbers script for a Die Hard knockoff - you will probably have a reasonable approximation for White House Down. To be fair, though, it could also be a great recipe for some good old-fashioned popcorn entertainment.
For those who are curious, check out this White House Down script review.
White House Down open in theaters on June 28th, 2013.