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White House Down Gets Thumbs Down From Critics: Review

Channing Tatum tries his hand at action adventure in 'White House Down.'

Channing Tatum tries his hand at action adventure in ‘White House Down.’

Channing Tatum gets saddled with a weak script and stale special effects in “White House Down,” the latest from Director Roland Emmerich, who is best known for his Will Smith blockbuster “Independence Day.” But critics say he’s lost his touch this time around.

Tatum, who is being billed as Hollywood’s next hot hunk after his star turn in 2012 comedy-drama “Magic Mike,” plays John Cale, a United States Capital Police officer in this go around.

He’s caught in the middle of a right-wing paramilitary attack on the White House while touring the mansion with his daughter, played by Joey King. Jamie Foxx plays President James Sawyer.

The film which opens in wide release this weekend is polling 48 percent rating on rottentomatoes, which tracks movie reviews, although 74 percent of those who have seen the film, seem to like it.

The biggest beef with the picture is its predicable plot and run-of-the-mill special effects. “White House Down has exactly what you’d expect from [Emmerich] and from the genre, only louder and dumber,” writes Peter Howell from the Toronto Star.

But Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal found even less to like. “White House Down” is solidly within its genre. In a deeper sense, though, it bespeaks a fatigue that’s hard to distinguish from brain death,” he wrote.

It’s possible some critics were expecting a little too much from Emmerich, whose films have been hit in the past for heavy visual effects, and cliché dialogue. Notwithstanding “Independence Day,” a huge hit, he’s got a solid resume of B-rated action-adventure films.

At best, “White House Down,” is probably passable as a nice summer weekend diversion. Manohla Dargis of The New York Times praises the film with faint damnation. “As demented and entertaining as promised, and a little less idiotic than feared,” she writes.

Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times may have summed up the movie best. “White House Down” is a hoot and a half, a shameless popcorn entertainment that is preposterous and diverting in just about equal measure.”

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