Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House
Director: Peter Landesman
Starring: Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Ike Barinholtz, Marton Csokas, Josh Lucas, Brian d’Arcy James.
Plot: As its elongated title suggests “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House” revolves around a man named Mark Felt, who, through his cover as Deep Throat and revelations to the press, was able to bring down Richard Nixon’s reign at the White House. Mark Felt only revealed that he was Deep Throat in 2005, and “The Man Who Brought Down The White House” details the build-up to his antics, and how he then proceeded to drip the right information out and assist journalists in their attempts to get to the heart of Watergate.
Review: You know what’s even more exhausting than saying “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House”? Watching it. For a film that’s rife with so much potential, from its weighty, twisty plot to its leading man, “Mark Felt” repeatedly takes wrong turns that ultimately waylay it.
Writer and director Peter Landesman actually builds a compelling mood and tone as he lays the breadcrumbs that will ultimately lead to Nixon’s downfall, establishing why Felt deemed it necessary to speak to Messrs Woodward and Bernstein over at The Washington Post. But, rather than it being about national duty or showing any anguish over his decision, it just comes across that Felt was petty about being overlooked for the role as Director of the FBI. It doesn’t help that the film’s sub-plot about his family feels shoe-horned in and jolts rather than enhances the film.
Neeson is towering and fine, and there are actually some impressive supporting performances from Lucas, James, Barinholtz, Csokas and Sizemore. But, ultimately, “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House” just feels lightweight. And that’s before you start comparing it to “All The President’s Men.”