White House Down
: This weekend's other action-buddy picture—seriously, how was one of these not shuffled off to July or August, where both meat-and-potatoes action and broad comedy seem to thrive?—is more straight-down-the-middle, and while destruction raining down upon the White House lawn seems perfectly Roland Emmerich, it also counts as a change of pace from his cornball Irwin Allen-level disaster ensembles. I guess 2012
went about as far as he could go until he figures out how to blow up the solar system, which has sent him back to knocking off a franchise whose considerable escalation remains, nonetheless, a little less monumental: Die Hard
(though maybe part six will finally send John McClane to space, or Mars or something). I'm not sure how the supposed jocular tone will mesh with Emmerich's dopey-uncle sense of humor, which I always attributed to his past cowriter/coproducer Dean Devlin, just for fun. But 80s-action throwbacks are hot right now, and a lot of those movies, even the "comic" ones, aren't actually very funny, either. For 2013, the atrocious Olympus Has Fallen
can claim firsties, but come on: Emmerich practically invented White House carnage.