When Antoine Fuqua's "Olympus Has Fallen" was released in March 2013, it automatically won bragging rights as the year's first of two scheduled big-budget action pictures about a terrorist takeover of the White House. Positioned as mainstream Hollywood entertainment, the exceedingly violent R-rated film instead disturbed and unsettled, hitting too close to home to be anything but a reminder of 9/11 dressed up as a "Die Hard" clone. One supposes it is a testament to the technical prowess and relative plausibility of "Olympus Has Fallen" that it affected like it did. By comparison, the moronic, PG-13-rated "White House Down" carries none of that sense of unease, eliciting unwanted laughs and a steady stream of eye rolls rather than emotional discomfort. Directed with cloying artificiality by Roland Emmerich (2009's "2012") and written with little to no connection to reality by James Vanderbilt (2012's "The Amazing Spider-Man"), it's a political disaster movie that also, little by little, turns into a cinematic disaster.
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