When i first watched Denzel Washington in Philadelphia, i was mesmerised. A sensitive story, sensitively performed. Then there were other fabulous performances in The Book of Eli, The Bone Collector, Unstoppable and so on. I really wondered if Hollywood would find a replacement for him, as he grew older. And then along came Jamie Foxx. I loved him in Django Unchained and I loved him in Whitehouse Down, which i watched on TV today. i am not a huge fan of action films, but I love what these guys bring to the screen ( ref. Unstoppable, Whitehouse Down).
Whitehouse Down has an oft used plot of an attack on the whitehouse. It has shades of Irving Wallace’s The Man, and many other ‘president attack’ films. its a well edited film, with very few histrionics from actors. there were few close ups to show us the emotions of the protagonist. there was no protagonist, as a matter of fact. and yet, jamie foxx, in the role of the president ( clearly modeled on obama) stole the show from the nose of the undeniably handsome channing tatum.
the brush of humour in his dialogue delivery made all the difference, and even the comic timing – very subtle but unmissable. i loved the scene where he has to shoot at something, he pats his coat pocket, fishes out his spectacles, wears them, focuses and shoots. no deliberate flourishes. no overt rolling of the eyes or self-deprecating grimaces. no smart ass dialogue. the camera focused for just a second on the slightly upturned lips of the man who could maintain his balance and humour in the middle of a firing. truly the stuff presidents are made of.
i watched the film for maggie gyllenhall and jamie foxx and i wasn’t disappointed. the handsome channing was the icing on the cake.