Vice is a deeply polarizing political biopic that will get under your skin. Tremendously acted and wildly told, Vice is a story you don’t want to miss.
Vice hits all of the right jolts in the duration of 132 minutes. Sadly, the film manages to miss a few targets. Writer-director Adam McKay (The Big Short) finally unveiled his ambitious story, interweaving former Vice-President Dick Cheney's (a top-notch Christian Bale) private and political life onto the big screen. Cheney was known for becoming one of the most powerful men in Washington and McKay tried to make light on how he changed the political game for our country and the world. McKay's stark craft will have you laughing in one scene and in disbelief by the next. The narrative, unfortunately, is a bit scattershot on telling Cheney's life in front and behind the curtain. For me, this kind of structure worked well for The Big Short, but for Vice, it comes off a bit topsy-turvy. Nevertheless, what kept Vice afloat was a bravura of actor performances (Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, and Tyler Perry) that filled the screen.
Bale virtually transforms into Cheney, he gained a whopping 45 pounds for the role. Bale also shaved his head, bleached his eyebrows, and even did exercises to thicken his neck to appear more like Cheney. Adams is dynamite with her performance as Lynne Cheney. Fiercely constructed, you wouldn't want to cross Adams in this leading role. Then, there's Rockwell who's an absolute spitfire as former President George W. Bush. Incredibly funny and wildly entertaining, Rockwell is a blast to watch on the screen as 43. Bale, Adams, and Rockwell all received Oscar nominations. Sadly, none of them were recognized for their tour de force performances. Bale did receive a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. During the ceremony, Bale even thanked Satan for inspiration. Ouch. My recommendation is to watch this movie for the grand performances alone. Overall, Vice is a political mind game that will both enrage Liberals and Conservatives for very different reasons. It leaves room for people to further debate after the credits roll off the screen. In the end, Cheney has the final laugh.
Vice is rated R (Restricted). For language and some violent images.
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