THE BLOG
06/26/2013 12:08 am ET Updated Aug 25, 2013

'White House Down': How Far Down Does The White House Go? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)

white house down review

Channing Tatum (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) and Jamie Foxx (The Truth About Cats and Dogs) make an unlikely team in this weekend's new disaster epic, White House Down. How far down will the White House go? As always, we answer every question you could possibly have about White House Down.

Q: How far down does the White House go?

A: It doesn't go down as much as it is captured by terrorists.

Q: Didn't this movie come out in March?

A: You're thinking of Olympus Has Fallen.

Q: What are the major differences between Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down?

A: A case could be made that White House Down has a bigger budget and more prestigious actors. A case could also be made that my life is a never-ending circle of writing about the same movie over and over and over and over. We all persevere the best we can.

Q: Do the North Koreans attack the White House in White House Down?

A: Plot-wise, this is the major difference between your two "Home of the President of the United States gets captured" movies. Instead of a foreign invader, the threat comes as an internal coup.

Q: Why is there a coup?

A: President James Sawyer (Foxx) wants to withdraw all U.S. forces from the Middle East. His point is that in the age of drone strikes, actual military bases in the region are no longer needed. Other members of the United States government do not agree with President Sawyer.

Q: So when the coup happens, President Sawyer's best Secret Service agent, played by Channing Tatum, is there to protect him?

A: Unfortunately, the Secret Service has been compromised. Channing Tatum plays a police officer who happens to be on a tour of the White House with his daughter, Emily (Joey King).

Q: Is Tatum reprising his role from 21 Jump Street?

A: Though it's not made clear if the events of White House Down take place in the same universe as 21 Jump Street, Tatum is not playing Greg Jenko. He is playing a U.S. Capitol Police officer named John Cale.

Q: Does the White House still offer tours?

A: They are limited to certain areas. And, recently, because of the sequester, they've been eliminated for the time being.

Q: Does John Cale have any affiliation to the Secret Service?

A: Cale really wants to be in the Secret Service, but is deemed unworthy by Carol Finnerty (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who knows Cale from college.

Q: How many direct Independence Day references are in White House Down?

A: One.

Q: How does John Cale go from being on a White House tour to teaming up with the president?

A: It's complicated, but mostly due to the fact that Cale is separated from his daughter when the White House is attacked and is determined to find her -- and that also Channing Tatum plays John Cale and Tatum is the star of White House Down.

Q: On a scale of one to 10, how ridiculous is White House Down?

A: Nine.

Q: On a scale of one to 10, how enjoyable is White House Down?

A: If you can put aside all of the ridiculousness (which isn't always easy), the enjoyable level of White House Down is an eight.

Q: What is the best sequence in White House Down?

A: When Tatum and Foxx are involved in a car chase on the White House lawn -- which qualifies as both ridiculous and fantastically enjoyable.

Q: If White House Down is so ridiculous, why is it so enjoyable?

A: The chemistry between Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx.

Q: What is so special about their chemistry?

A: Even though Foxx is playing the President of the United States, this is a basically a buddy-cop movie.

Q: How is Ashley Judd in White House Down?

A: Again, you're thinking of Olympus Has Fallen.

Q: How many times does White House Down rip off Die Hard?

A: This is the closest I've seen a movie actually capture what was so special about the original Die Hard -- and it has nothing to do with the action or the stunts, but everything to do with Channing Tatum.

Q: Is White House Down anywhere near as good of a movie as Die Hard?

A: Oh, God no. But Tatum sells it almost as well as Bruce Willis did in Die Hard.

Q: Is this because of Tatum's ripped tank top?

A: No. But it's really hard not to like Channing Tatum. When he's in danger, we do hope he somehow gets himself out of that danger.

Q: Is Channing Tatum officially our new movie star overlord?

A: Yes.

Q: Is White House Down Roland Emmerich's best movie?

A: No, but it might be his best acted movie. Effects wise, it's certainly not the best - and it certainly doesn't have the grand scale of Independence Day or 2012, but I can't remember caring about the two main characters more in one of his movies than I did in White House Down. And this is without a doubt the best "Home of the President of the United States gets captured" movie of the year.

Q: If you're going to be blurbed in this weekend's commercials for White House Down, what quote do you hope is used?

A: "The best 'Home of the President of the United States gets captured' movie of the year!" Mike Ryan - The Huffington Post

Q: If I see White House Down, should I leave my brain at the door of the movie theater?

A: This is a bad idea because you would die. Plus, the door of the movie theater would become a biohazard, which is rude.

Q: Should I at least turn off my cognitive sense of logic and reasoning?

A: I honestly don't think that's actually possible to do without some really invasive surgery. I think I'd leave your brain alone, you're playing with fire.

Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.

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'White House Down'

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