MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE

The Globe and Mail (Alberta Edition) - - FILM - – Barry Hertz

A U.S. pres­i­dent un­der sus­pi­cion. A batch of civil ser­vants in dis­tress. A group of hard-nosed jour­nal­ists dig­ging for the truth. Yes, 2017 seems like just the right time to re­visit the Water­gate scan­dal that struck down Richard Nixon’s house of cards. But Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White

House is not the zeit­geist chaser it’s be­ing mar­keted as. For one thing, wri­ter­di­rec­tor Peter Lan­des­man’s drama fan­cies it­self an ex­plainer as to how one FBI man (Liam Nee­son’s ti­tle char­ac­ter, bet­ter known as whis­tle-blower Deep Throat) helped un­ravel a cor­rupt ad­min­is­tra­tion. Yet it doesn’t ac­tu­ally ex­plain much, throw­ing a bunch of names and seem­ingly ar­bi­trary in­ci­dents at the screen in the hope that ev­ery­one watch­ing the film hap­pened to work at the Wash­ing­ton Post back in the day. Even Andrew Flem­ing’s 1999 com­edy Dick knew how to dis­till Water­gate and G. Gor­don Liddy to a tidy 90 min­utes, and it had the good graces to be funny. Lan­des­man has wran­gled a mur­derer’s row of char­ac­ter ac­tors here – Tom Size­more! Ike Bar­in­holtz! Michael C. Hall! Bruce Green­wood! – but his script and di­rec­tion lack a dis­tinct killer in­stinct. (PG)

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