In a time of international turmoil, divisive politics and increasing moral vacancy, two all-American truths remain: Channing Tatum is smokin’ hot, and watching big explosions is fun. These are the principles that guide White House Down
, in which Independence Day
director Roland Emmerich again lays waste to our nation’s capital. Now, instead of an alien invasion, he unleashes computer hackers, terrorists and other enemies of the state on a mission to capture President Sawyer (Jamie Foxx). Superfluous though it may be, there is a plot. D.C. cop John Cale (Tatum) takes his angsty preteen daughter Emily (Joey King) on a tour of the White House. When Emily goes in search of a restroom, a bomb explodes nearby, and a squadron of bedraggled dudes with automatic weapons floods the marble hallways. Cale narrowly escapes a spray of bullets and takes off looking for his daughter, but instead finds the president. Ample violence, awkward political references and obnoxious racial stereotyping ensue as the unlikely duo scramble through elevator shafts and underground tunnels, with Cale shouldering the dual responsibility of protecting the president and finding Emily. What gives this trigger-happy flick some charisma, aside from feeding the red-blooded American fascination with attacks on Washington, is the patriotic appeal of an underdog prevailing against the odds. Tatum’s beautiful bod and fearless fatherly instincts don’t hurt, either. All told, it’s a silver-screen fireworks show—senseless, extravagant and just in time for the Fourth.