Thursday, December 27, 2018


Writer/director Adam McKay's Vice is a look into the life and political career of Dick Cheney (Christian Bale). There are plenty of amusing moments which are bolstered by terrific performances by both Christian Bale and Amy Adams.

However, McKay takes a relatively safe approach here and the film fails to sink its teeth deep enough into the subject matter to elicit more than a handful of great moments. While not exactly toothless, the film lacks the bite and satirical wit to truly have fun with Dick Cheney's political career. It's too... nice. And it's not like McKay was lacking in material to pull from. Remember, Cheney once shot a man in the face and had the political power to make the victim apologize to him on national television.

By the end of the movie, McKay is able to put Cheney's vice presidency into historical context while cherry-picking diverting sequences to showcase along the way. That said, it's in the performances more so than the subject matter where Vice finds the most success. Along with Bale and Adams, Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell add some comic relief as Cheney's mentor Donald Rumsfeld and President George W. Bush.

Neither as dark nor witty as it should be, much like Oliver Stone's W., Vice is only somewhat successful in exploring what makes Cheney tick. It succeeds at times, such as Cheney slow playing his acceptance of the Vice Presidential nominee to gain more power in the White House, but falters elsewhere concerning Cheney's familial relationships and exploring the man's internal drive. Pulling up as to not offend possible Republican viewers, the movie feels too much like a half-measure. Even if the film fails to swing for the fences, there is still plenty to enjoy here (especially for fans of Bale and Adams who provide two of the year's more memorable performances).

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