starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods
screenplay by James Vanderbilt
directed by Roland Emmerich
by Angelo Muredda Leading up to the release of Anonymous in late 2011, Roland Emmerich joined screenwriter and professional blowhard John Orloff in a series of quasi-academic debates about the supposed true origin of the works of William Shakespeare--which they attributed, as is the fashion among a school of cranks that includes Derek Jacobi and John Hurt, to the Earl of Oxford. Let us only say of that turgid, classist bore, the most distressing of his disaster movies, that petty conspiracy theorizing does not suit Emmerich, at heart a good old liberal pussycat who likes to blow things up, then shoot the shit about the horrors of global warming. Despite its vague interest in U.S. foreign policy (i.e., its firm belief that it sucks), White House Down is a more modest affair, and all the better for it. Stupid is easy but stupid fun is trickier to pull off, and more than anything Emmerich has made since Independence Day (a decent ham sandwich), this Die Hard clone, complete with Channing Tatum in a sleeveless shirt, at least delivers a pretty good time.