Picoreview: White House Down

Picoreview: White House Down: Ted and I went to White House Down (after much debate, starting first with the idea of going to About Time or the equally romantic date movie Elysium, then deciding we’d see Rush and then finding White House Down was starting earlier and sounded more fun) this weekend. It was a colossal flop, costing $150m to make and having made $73m domestically, though it’s made another $100m overseas (apparently people who don’t live in American enjoy watching the White House blow up more than people who do, and they apparently like Americans blowing themselves up more than foreigner), but I gotta say: I loved it.

First off, it did what it said on the tin, to a perfectly ridiculous degree. Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx and Maggie Gyllenhaal were fine in their roles, and Gyllenhaal had the glad job of being all business and no romance, which is offensively rare in fillum, as we say here. There were preposterous stunts and exploding White Houses and

There was also the most awesome 11 year old girl this side of ever. Huge, huge, major TOTAL spoilers behind the cut, because I can’t even talk about how awesome she is without spoiling most of the movie. If you do not want to be spoiled–and I repeat, there are major spoilers behind the cut, let me just leave you with this: Know what the action genre needs? The action genre needs a team-up between Lucy McLane and Emily Cale. That is what action movies need. And I would be there with bells on.

Seriously, the movie opens with this 11 year old, Emily Cale, Channing’s daughter, waking up for a news alert on her phone and I was all like “that’s very weird, what kid does that,” but shortly thereafter she’s established as obsessed/fascinated with the White House/politics/President, so in retrospect it makes sense. Her dad gets her a pass for the White House tour, and they meet the president, at which point this hyperventilating-with-excitement 11-year-old yanks out her video phone and quavers her way through asking the POTUS an interview question for her video blog. A really good question, too, so we get her well established as focused and clear-headed even through excitement.

Shortly thereafter terrorists start exploding things, she’s separated from Tatum, and through tears and terror, she films a few clips and uploads them, giving the world the chance to see who the terrorists really are. A la Die Hard, this of course has consequences, but Emily holds herself together, even when the bad guys have literally got a gun to her head in an attempt to make the president nuke Iran. So here you are, here’s Jamie Foxx explaining to a sobbing eleven year old that he’s sorry, but he can’t give the bad guy the codes or millions of people are going to die, and chin quivering, tears pouring down her face, she says, “I understand.”


I shit you not, at the end of the film, it’s Emily Cale who saves the day. The 11 year old girl. Daddy saves the President, but the 11 year old girl saves the world, I am not shitting you. She saves the White House and the presidency and by extrapolation the world.

Why can we not have grown-up female characters THIS AWESOME? Please, please, *please* let this be a sign of things to come, because I swear to God, I had tears in my eyes at the end of this movie, because it was the little girl who made all the difference. It was *amazing*, and I loved it to bits.

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