Yesterday afternoon a privileged few were able to partake in a rare experience. At the Regal Cinemas in Union Square, New York less than 200 fans and some members of the press saw the official trailer and an exclusive 8 minute sneak peek of what is sure to be a summer hit – “White House Down.”
Upon arrival into the theater we were all greeted with a warm bag of popcorn and choice of water or soda. Inside two cameras were set up in the middle of the room and right below the screen there were three director-style chairs. Sam Champion from Good Morning America comes out and introduces Roland Emmerich director of the film, and the actor Jaime Foxx, who made their way into the room through a separate elevator and entrance.
The event also took place and was transmitted live to New York from London where TV host Alex Zane was the MC. On screen we saw Channing Tatum and the London crowd who got a little bit luckier than us with their choice of drink including wine.
What is interesting about the film is that it has an “underlying threat,” Emmerich said before showing the official trailer for the film. “It’s a story where America gets brought down from people within. Notice that every movie gets brought down by some foreign terrorist from another country and I don’t think that’s feasible. I was impressed with the script because it clearly stated this country or this house can only be brought down by people who are working for the government which makes it a coup d’état thriller.”
Following the trailer, Foxx and Tatum spoke about their experience and chemistry on the set until the moment arrived for the awaited 8 minute clip. Before screening the clip, Emmerich confessed that showing an unfinished product made him nervous but that he was also very proud of what they had accomplished.
The mind-blowing 8 minutes went down like this:
John Cale, played by Channing Tatum, apologizes to his daughter Emily, played by Joey King (Beezus and Ramona), for not making it to her talent show, she brushes him off. “That sucks because I thought you’d really want these,” he said to her while giving her two passes to The White House and telling her that he has an interview with the secret service.
The clip speeds ahead to John’s interview. An agent, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, asks him why he wants to join the secret service. “I can’t think of a more important job than protecting the president,” John responds. The agent pulls out a stack of letters, “Evaluations from your senior officers: ‘Sergeant Cale demonstrates a lack of respect for authority. Sargent Cale has no follow through. Sergant Cale has raw potential but seems determined not to realize it.’ I’m sorry,” she tells him.
“Did you get job?” Emily asks him outside of the office he was interviewed. Looking into her eyes and seeing how proud she was he lies, “Yeah I think I got a shot. You know how it is; they have to go talk amongst themselves.”
As they are on their way out a tour guide asks if they are there for the tour. “Do you think I can see where you’ll be working,” Emily asks her father, and they join the tour.
We then jump back and forth from takes of the guide giving a tour and men installing bombs in the building. Then it cuts to a guard running after one of the men yelling, “Sir, you can’t leave that there!” and boom, The White House begins to go down.
John is separated from his daughter and he also he finds out the President, played by Jamie Foxx (and no, he is not playing Obama), is kidnapped. While on the search for Emily, John runs across a walkie-talkie on which he hears that the President is in the building’s library. “So that’s the library. Don’t go in there just … oh this is so stupid,” John tells himself as he tries to figure out what he wants to do and then decides to go into the Library. He finds the President, shoots the guy holding him hostage and the two run away.
We then see them in an elevator shaft planning how they will get out of this mess, “We have to get you to a phone,” John tells the President. “You call Seal Team Six and they’ll come in here and shoot these assholes in the head. The President looks at him and says “We keep a spare cellphone in the residence.”
The two are able to get to a phone, before making the call the President decides to change his shoes; he first picks a black dressy pair then looks up and sees a pair of Jordans.
We jump to 30 seconds of action in the kitchen with shooting, bodies flying, windows breaking until the President breaks the silence, “Get your hands off my Jordans,” he says while kicking one of the bad guys that has him by his leg.
“My little girl is counting on me and I’m not going to disappear on her,” John tells the president, “You can’t do this by yourself,” the President responds. We then see them getting in a black Cadillac and busting out through the garage door. While John is driving the President grabs a rocket, “I know you are into peace and all of that, but you have to stick that thing out there and go to work,” John says. “Damn right,” the President responds as he positions himself to aim. The President then swings the weapon, “do not hit me in my head with a rocket while I’m trying to drive!” John yells.
After another action packed scene the clip ends with Jaime talking on the phone with his wife. “She did not hang up on you,” John says, “She put me on hold,” the President responds.
The crowd cheers, claps and screams!
The 8 minute clip was as jaw dropping, exhilarating, visually impacting and hilarious experience and there is no doubt that the film will be even greater so definitely catch it when premiers on June 28th. Emmerich did a fantastic job in seamlessly combining action and humor. From start to finish I expect the film to be a non-stop thrill ride.