December 31, 2013

White House Down (2013)

Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Unlike Olympic gold medals and Miss America crowns, Oscars are never confiscated from actors at a later date, no matter how heinous a crime they commit later on. For example, Cuba Gooding Jr.'s Oscar for Jerry Maguire was somehow expected to excuse him from starring in movies like Rat Race, Snow Dogs, and Boat Trip. Jamie Foxx won the Best Actor award for Ray, but didn't have to surrender it upon the release of this movie. Which seems patently unfair to Vanessa Williams.

Watching Jamie Foxx in this movie just made me wonder how anyone could consider him a great (or even good) actor. Seriously. How can someone go from winning an Oscar to being the worst portrayal of a president, ever? (Considering the president has been played by everyone from Kelsey Grammer to Luke Wilson, that's really saying something). Presidents command a certain air of stateliness and formality that is utterly lacking here. It's as if Jamie Foxx has never watched a real president speak (yes, I'm even including G.W. in that statement) and just decided to play the part exactly how he speaks and acts in real life. 

Without a doubt, there are problems in the movie beyond Jamie Foxx. I might even go out on a limb and say he was one of the better parts of the movie. Of course, he's competing against the likes of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Channing Tatum, and the wife beater in The Great Gatsby. So... it's sort of like being the standout of your middle school orchestra.

So instead of my companions and me zoning out in front of a slightly predictable, run-of-the-mill, mindless action movie, the viewing turned into a competition of who could point out the most ridiculous plot point or character dialogue. Like how Channing Tatum is in the middle of trying to avoid being killed by terrorists within the confines of the White House (and no, I am not spoiling the plot - if you can call it that) and Maggie Gyllenhaal tells him the first thing he needs to do is get to a TV and watch the news. Or the stiff, unmemorable banter between, well, everyone.

Final word: I haven't laughed this much through a movie since Magic Mike.

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