Less than twenty seconds into the new trailer for "White House Down," the Capitol Dome is collapsing in a ball of fire and all of Washington D.C. is in utter chaos.
In short, this movie is not messing around.
After letting aliens take down the nation's capitol in 1996's "Independence Day," director Roland Emmerich is eager to up the ante with "White House Down," and the random destruction on display shows just how much better he and his special effects team have gotten at destroying national landmarks in the past seventeen years. In less than two and a half minutes, Emmerich's villains manage to level a city of considerable size and put an entire nation's future in doubt.
Check out the trailer here:
The first half of the trailer is a remarkable parade of explosions, crashes, and fire as missiles launch, airliners are attacked mid-flight, helicopters skim traffic at high speed over busy streets, and the White House explodes, helicopters are hit with rockets, and people run screaming in terror in every direction.
Things calm down just a bit when we meet the one man who can rescue us from certain doom – Channing Tatum. Tatum, clearly a sure hand with a weapon, is seen firing off a few rounds at the bad guys before he's seen huddling with Jamie Foxx.
"Tell me how much time I have," Tatum says into a cell phone in the first line of actual dialogue in the trailer. His answer comes moments later in the form yet another explosion. And just so you know this tough guy has a heart, moments later we see him protecting a tween-age girl, with a look of fatherly compassion on his face.
Don't worry, though, we're offered some more shooting, explosions, and some kind of armored SUV sailing through the air into a swimming pool before Tatum speaks again, shouting "Wegottago, wegottago, wegottago!" as he leaps up with Foxx to escape another hail of bullets. After some more chaos, the credits roll.
So if you were hoping to learn the finer points of the movie's narrative, you're out of luck. What we've been told so far is that Tatum plays a cop who is taking a tour of the White House with his daughter (this must take place in some pre-sequester alternate world) when an army of heavily armed terrorists lay siege to Washington. The lawman must swing into action to protect both his child and the president, played by Jamie Foxx.
But hey, you can read a synopsis just about anywhere. What Emmerich and Columbia Pictures are here to do is show us how much stuff they can blow up, and the "White House Down" trailer makes it clear they've spared no expense to make a Washingtonian's worst nightmare come to life on screen. Come June 28, you can head to your local multiplex and watch the center of the most powerful nation on Earth reduced to matchsticks with only Channing Tatum standing between us and total annihilation. If that's not a summer blockbuster, what is?