Friday, August 2, 2019

Mike Wallace Is Here Movie Review

Mike Wallace, as featured in Mike Wallace Is Here


Rotten Tomatoes Plot: For over half a century, 60 Minutes' fearsome newsman Mike Wallace went head-to-head with the world's most influential figures. Relying exclusively on archival footage, the film interrogates the interrogator, tracking Mike's storied career and troubled personal life while unpacking how broadcast journalism evolved to today's precarious tipping point. Directed by Avi Belkin.

What's Good: Wallace declares, "I was searching for something different." Needless to say, he found it (and then some.) The self-confessed, "nosey and insistent" news correspondent took on celebrities and world leaders with equal aplomb, across a dazzling seven-decade career, that Belkin expertly summarizes in a brilliant (and tidy) hour and a half. The doc jumps back and forth, showcasing a who's who of yesteryear (Bette Davis, Richard Nixon, Vladimir Putin) going toe-to-toe with the brazen, unapologetic interviewer. It's truly fascinating to watch. 

What's Not: The focus is clearly on Wallace's interviews (which are great) but I would have loved to have seen some personal moments mixed in.

Budget: N/A

Runtime: 90 minutes (I wanted more.)

Target Audience: History buffs, newsies and people who don't watch TMZ (insult intended.)

Bottom Line: You know it's good, when you're sad to see it end. Once I got home, I spent over an hour on YouTube, catching up on some of the full interviews (the aforementioned Bette Davis was especially great, Frank Lloyd Wright too.) That doesn't happen very often. A must-see!

Grade: B+ (Best doc of the year, so far.)