Die Hard: Presidential Edition

What's out this weekend? Well, the summer blockbuster du jour is the Channing Tatum/Jamie Foxx popcorn spectacle White House Down....or there's the buddy cop pairing of Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock in The Heat. I'll wait for the latter on DVD, but if you're curious about what the former might entail, picture the exact plot of the first Die Hard, and set it in the White House. Next swap out the always reliable Bruce Willis for...well uh....whatever your opinion is of Channing Tatum (mine? lovable mimbo.) And finally, picture said film being directed by Roland Emmerich, a man whose goal seems to be to outdo the level of destruction in each and every film he makes. I guess he got tired of trying to make the world end so many times that he decided it would be fun instead to see some political chaos of a destructing government instead. The result? Endless explosions and absolute absurdity that makes the film extremely, albeit guiltily (and perhaps in some cases unintentionally,) entertaining. This is the type of movie that Dollar Movies were made for!

John Kale (even his name echoes John McClane...) REALLY wants to be a member of the secret service for the President. After all, that's the only way to get his ten-year-old daughter who he keeps missing talent recitals for to love and respect him. Because protecting the speaker of the House is CLEARLY not a cool or respected job. Oh and Channing Tatum has a TEN YEAR OLD?? That baby-faced man we're supposed to believe already has a history? I guess he got his hippie girlfriend pregnant when he was 18...(actually the movie lists him as 33...which is his actual age, but still!) So in an effort to lessen the anger of his daughter in missing the recital, he decides to take her along to the job interview at the white house (because who doesn't bring their kids to job interviews?), and then on a nice little tour of said house. Cue the plot of Die Hard with a disgruntled Head of the Secret Service played by James Woods taking on the Hans Gruber role (and who can do that justice but Alan Rickman?) Channing, your "everyday" guy, happens to be in the right place at the right time as terrorists take over the White House and attempt to take the President, Jamie Foxx hostage. Just swap out estranged wife being taken hostage for estranged daughter and we're good to go. At least she has the plucky White House tour guide to keep her company as opposed to the smarmy businessman that always hits on Holly Genaro.

The main difference? Well, obviously the political factor in a post 9/11 world makes the film a bit more interesting (and even unsettling) than it should be. The setting change is definitely the biggest thing in its favor and keeps it from being a blatant ripoff (haha who am I kidding? It still is.) But, what I'm saying is that it was an interesting scenario to watch. The other thing the film does to try and make its mark? Explosions. And lots of them. The only way to comprehend what I mean by that is to post a list my pal Amelia generously made for me, listing (in a creative fashion) the many explosions in the film. CAUTION SPOILERS AHEAD. And I'm not gonna white these ones out because...well the film is predictable enough as it is and you might as well read them for a laugh anyway. Or not. Your choice.


The Iconic building explosion (Capitol Building)

The wear your grenades as a necklace technique

The classic car flip and burn

Machine gun meets poorly positioned flammable material storage area

The "Oops my own bomb killed me!"

The "I told you they had missiles"

The "No really did you not see those missiles?"

The Sunset Ruiner AKA bright flame against blue sky AKA when they bombed that plane mid-air

The Kick it Back (when that guy rolls the grenade back at him under the piano)

Tank vs infrastructure

Moving Rocket meets unmovable wall

Honorable Mention for other explosion-esque moments:

The fire that wished it was an explosion

Car vs national treasure

Giant machine guns vs cars

When planes fall

Thanks, Amelia! Do you see how preposterous this is??? But I can't deny it's a perfect popcorn flick (chock full of unintentional laughs)....for the dollar theater. It does run a little long, but it IS pretty entertaining. EMILY RATING: EDIT: At the urging of Kent....I probably would drop it down to a 5.5, but in all conscience can't drop it lower because it was too dang entertaining.


Sarah said...

Ha ha ha! I totally want to see this now! Ya gotta love Roland Emmerich!

Johanna said...

Way too many explosions for me!

Amelia said...

If we ever watch this again we need to actually count all the explosions, lol who knows we could've missed one!

Emily said...

What do you mean IF?? We are most certainly watching this in the dollar theater with Courtney Wightman.