Neeson Waterlogged as ‘Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House’

by Christian Ramos on October 19, 2017

in Print Reviews,Reviews

 [Rating: Minor Rock Fist Down] 

It has been 45 years now since the infamous Watergate scandal rocked the nation and brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon. Since then, politics have never been the same, even considering the most scandalous part of the entire Watergate scandal was the fact somebody from inside was delivering information to the Washington Post.

In Peter Landesman’s (ConcussionMark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, Liam Neeson plays Mark Felt, better known as Deep Throat, a top FBI official who went against his loyalties and spilled the truth. The film talks about the brief time leading up to Watergate and Felt’s position within the FBI, but unfortunately struggles to really give viewers any push as to why we should even care.

Liam Neeson has been off the streak of choosing action-packed thrillers like the Taken series as of late, opting instead to do quieter roles that show off his serious acting talents. Mark Felt is an interesting role to choose, albeit not a great one and honestly for this film, not even memorable. The biggest problem with Neeson’s acting in this is there’s no emotion. I don’t think in the near two-hour run you’re going to see Neeson do much more than a scowl to represent this man.

Even before Watergate, Felt was a top advisor and loyal adversary to Nixon. It took the crisis and subsequent coverups to push him to reveal his secrets to the press. But why? Well unfortunately, scowl in hand, we never really get a clear reason why. The film is so poorly edited, one second Felt is talking about loyalty to the President and the next, he’s spilling secrets in a parking garage. Obviously, the matters of political injustice more than likely drove Felt over the edge, but the film sadly, never explores this. There are reports this film was even so long there was drastic edits to Diane Lane’s scenes and honestly, why again? She is barely in the film except to play tired, sad housewife role through all of this.

Overall, this film offers more questions than even the American people had for the Nixon administration. There’s no life, no soul, no heart in this bland film.

This isn’t a game-changing movie but instead, a disappointing anniversary film for an important American scandal. Stick with All the President’s Men where Mark Felt as Deep Throat’s ambiguity remains. It remains the more effective Watergate film.

Christian Ramos is a recent graduate of KU with a B.A. in Film & Media Studies. When he’s not watching movies, he likes to brag about the pointless Oscar trivia he knows, remembers that time he dressed as Steven Spielberg for Halloween and shows off his tweet that Julianne Moore liked.

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