You’d have to pay me a significant amount of money for me to not be interested in anything that Liam Neeson does, and I don’t care what kind of negative reviews are out there.
The story is based on true events. I can’t claim to have paid attention in history class, so all I can recall about the Watergate Scandal is that… well, it was bad. Yeah, I paid that little attention in school. Politics and history and I never got along. Well, let’s hope this movie provides a level of education for me, or enough to pique my interest in learning the facts that this movie fudged or overlooked.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Liam Neeson (A MONSTER CALLS , TAKEN , LES MISÉRABLES , and the upcoming THE COMMUTER ) and Diane Lane (PARIS CAN WAIT , JUMPER , JACK , and the upcoming JUSTICE LEAGUE ). In support, we have Marton Csokas (LOVING , THE DEBT , and THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING ), Maika Monroe (INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE , IT FOLLOWS , and LABOR DAY ), Michael C. Hall (GAMER , PAYCHECK , and TV show DEXTER [2006 – 2013]), Tom Sizemore (BLACK HAWK DOWN , SAVING PRIVATE RYAN , and HEAT ), and Bruce Greenwood (KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE , BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD , THE CORE , and upcoming films GERALD’S GAME  and BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT ).
Now for the crew. Writing and directing, we have Peter Landesman, known for CONCUSSION (2015). Composing the score is Daniel Pemberton, known for KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD (2017), THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (2015), video game LITTLEBIGPLANET (2008), and the upcoming MOLLY’S GAME (2017). Finally, the cinematographer is Adam Kimmel, known for LARS AND THE REAL GIRL (2007) and CAPOTE (2005).
Overall, if I were to hazard a guess, most of the negative reviews are due to an abundance of historical inaccuracies and such like that. There’s probably nothing wrong with the acting or the drama, or the writing outside of the historical hiccups. I suspect I’ll be in the minority when it comes to liking it.
This is my honest opinion of: MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE
Mark Felt (Liam Neeson) has been a career agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for thirty years. Though he was up for J. Edgar Hoover’s position upon his death, it was given to Pat Gray (Marton Csokas). But Mark’s disappointment doesn’t last long as he becomes embroiled in what is now known as the Watergate Scandal and his information leaks to the press.
And… yeah, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy some of it. It is fun to see Neeson get his G-Man on, but it’s a pretty forgettable film.
I could tell pretty early on that I wouldn’t understand this film, with all its political talk and what not. Hell, it got to a point where I stopped bothering to take notes because I didn’t know what to write down. I couldn’t even follow the main plot point. Even if I went full kindergarten on this, I wouldn’t understand anything. So, I know that Mark leaked information to the press. I don’t know what he leaked. The best I understood was that he bugged the homes of political rivals, but I never saw him or anyone shadily under his employment do that, so the connection between what he was doing and what he was leaking to the press didn’t feel very strong, or even all that relevant to each other. This is kind of a shame because that’s probably what would have made the film a lot more interesting, watching these FBI guys listening in on politicians secrets that would ultimately be filed away. Not that this movie wouldn’t tread into the territory of “slander” if they had gone that route, but something along those lines would have made this film much juicier. Instead, what you get is a ton of scenes showing a frustrated Neeson with a bunch of talking about why, instead of showing why.
It also doesn’t look like I’m wrong about all the negativity surrounding the film: inaccuracies. Apparently, Felt didn’t leak information to the press because of patriotism, but rather to fuel his ambitions, he never wanted to get Nixon out of office, he really wasn’t “the” guy that “brought down the White House” as there were a dozen factors that lead to that, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I’m sure more informed people can list for me. I think the ultimate reason why this film was made was to show the parallels between what was going on in the White House then and comparing it to who we have now (Trump). If I remember correctly, the FBI was investigating Trump and he fired the director of the FBI, or something to that effect. Like I said, more informed people can point that stuff out.
All I can say is that this film is pretty boring, and that’s not how I want a Liam Neeson film to be described. Even if his movie isn’t good, it’s still fun to watch him do things and that’s precisely what we don’t get: things. We just get a crap-load of talking and that’s not very riveting. My recommendation is… viewer beware. I may not recommend it in theaters. Save it for a rental at best. I’ll leave the politically savvy folks to tear apart the inaccuracies, but as for me, it’s pretty blah as a movie. The man who brought down the White House also brought down my interest in the subject matter.
My honest rating for MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE: a weak 3/5