This film was released a couple of months after “Olympus Has Fallen” premiered. At first, I found it odd that there were two similar films released just months apart from each other that contained similar situations. But nonetheless, the film was released and garnered nearly $25,000,000 in its opening weekend. The film went on to gross a little more than $200,000,000 worldwide with a budget of about $150,000,000. Not bad. You can view the trailer below.
There are some similarities as the hero of the story, much like “Olympus Has Fallen” and “Die Hard,” finds himself inside the main action and attempts to thwart the terrorists’ plot. John Cale (Channing Tatum) is a capitol police officer, also aspiring to become Secret Service, accompanying his daughter Emily (Joey King), who appears to know a lot about the history of the White House and is very eager to share her knowledge, on a tour of the White House with several other people. Slowly, the terrorist plot unfolds and Cale has to save President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx), his daughter and the country. Soon we learn Martin Walker (James Woods), a senior Secret Service agent set to retire, is an insider working with the terrorists, a paramilitary group led by Stenz (Jason Clarke).
The film appeared to have somewhat of a slow start but did pick up and move right into the action. While the attack appeared to be well coordinated, it didn’t have the impact the attack sequence from ‘Olympus’ had. The attack here occurred mostly inside on the grounds. And the plot seemed plausible and believable, but it seemed like a lot to go through for the villains to achieve their goals.
Writer James Vanderbilt penned this action-comedy. He most recently came off from writing the Spider-Man reboot (“The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2”). Director Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day,” “2012,” and “The Day After Tomorrow”) took the script and weaved action, comedy, and destruction together in an entertaining way that it was enjoyable to watch despite some of the character flaws and the way everything seemed to be wrapped up in a nice little bow at the end, even for an action-comedy.
The performances were less than stellar, but in most cases were believable. Tatum was good as a wannabe Secret Service agent, but I thought his performance still lacked a certain something – like maybe some needed voice inflection here and there. Foxx nearly shined as the President who was able to put on sneakers so he could run more efficiently and kick some bad-guy ass, but yet still maintain a certain level of professionalism and authority. Woods was credible as the retiring agent who had a grudge against the president, and apparently cooked up the terrorist plot, then employed the services of Stenz and his men to help him carry it out. Clarke was a determined individual and you could tell he was fighting for a cause and would stop at nothing to get the job done and kill whoever got in his way. Maggie Gyllanhaal played Carol Finnerty, Deputy Special Agent with the Secret Service. She interviewed Cale earlier in the film as he applied for a position with the Secret Service. Her performance just didn’t catch on for me. It almost appeared one-dimensional as she seemingly played the character with the same level of intensity throughout the film.
The film was released by Columbia Pictures and runs 132 minutes. All in all it had action, comedy, explosions, likable characters and a decent story, which made it enjoyable and fun to watch.