Robert Redford is reliably strong as the reclusive Weather Underground member who resurfaces decades later to get his daughter to safety and clear his name. Brit Marling continues her ascendancy into the big leagues, while Susan Sarandon offers strong support, but Shia LeBoeuf struggles to convince as an ambitious young reporter looking to bust open the case and uncover the truth once and for all. Behind the camera, Redford keeps things interesting, but the film never really rises above the competent-yet-conventional.
Roland Emmerich’s take on the “Die Hard in the White House” action set-up that was visited earlier this year in Antoine Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen, is a far bigger, louder and more ludicrous affair. Channing Tatum plays the wannabe Secret Service agent who finds himself – along with his tech-savvy teenage daughter – trapped in the White House just s it’s taken over by some very angry terrorists. Soon enough he has teamed up with young, hands-on Prez Jamie Foxx and the film becomes a buddy action comedy as they attempt to foil the plan and restore order to the capital.
The scale here is far grander, with rocket launchers, car chases on the front lawn and an escalated level of destruction that sees the Capitol Building levelled (this is Emmerich after all), while the threat here proves a domestic rather than foreign one when all is eventually revealed. It’s all rather ridiculous, however, and tries too hard to be knowing, ironic and self-effacing, rather than knuckling down and simply embracing its B Movie genre identity.