The story is an undeniably thrilling one, yet its groundwork and scene setting is quite laborious
Acting as an unrelated prequel to the film All The Presidents Men, or the real life events of The Watergate Scandal, The Post is an in depth look at the way highly secure Government secrets (or The Pentagon Papers) were leaked through the press, and the lengths Nixon’s government went to trying to keep them hidden.
The story is an undeniably thrilling one, yet its groundwork and scene setting is quite laborious, especially in its early moments. It often feels like wading through the pages of a broadsheet paper on a slow news day, building it’s pace and power particularly leisurely.
Yet it is entirely engaging when The Post hits an elongated climax, just proving how much of a waste the early sections are. They may be brilliant for scene setting but that doesn’t make them any more interesting than they are.
The acting was never going to be questioned with Streep and Hanks leading the cast and the support is just as strong. The Post often gives out the impression of historic footage rather than the modern day recreation it actually is. It feels genuine, and that goes a long way when a film is attempting to recreate past moments of extreme importance.
Spielberg makes a detailed and powerful account of The Pentagon Papers release, but it is not consistent nor is it emotional. It is naturally saved by Steep and Hanks, diverting all attention to them, and without them the reaction to The Post may be considerably worse. The film does what it needed to, but with no hint of a flourish.