Film In Review: Vice
The highly anticipated 2019 film ‘Vice’, directed by Adam McKay and starring Christian Bale as protagonist Dick Cheney, is a film unlike any other I have seen for a long time, if ever.
The film depicts the ruthless Dick Cheney, who is best known for serving as vice president to George W. Bush from the years 2001 to 2009, although this film shows him in a much sharper and clearer light than just a supporting role in Bush’s administration.
‘Vice’ follows Cheney on his mission to control the inner workings of Congress, the Pentagon and mainly, the White House. The adaptation of each of the main characters is brilliant, albeit slightly unusual in the way that the film is shot. The movie jumps back and forth between different moments in Cheney’s life, with the opening scene showing him in a drunken haze and the next showing him decades later as the 9/11 attacks were occurring.
Bale’s portrayal is outstanding, as are all of the performances. But the one that truly stood out to me was Sam Rockwell’s magnificently accurate and entertaining execution of George W. Bush. Rockwell plays Bush as a slightly naive, overly-agreeable and perhaps even simple-minded man, who essentially is shown to be a sort of puppet controlled by Dick Cheney.
The acting was enough to keep me hooked on the story, however, the unconventional editing and cuts of the film had me slightly dazed, with a hoax ending halfway through the film with the credits rolling down after only 40 minutes, which had everyone in the theatre mumbling in utter confusion. I also found the graphics and violence quite intense, especially regarding many of the scenes depicting the catastrophic results of Cheney’s cruel and almost sociopathic decisions regarding the middle east. Did I enjoy this film? Not particularly, as it was not a ‘feel-good’ film. However and maybe even ironically, would I recommend it? Absolutely. The acting by the cast is worth seeing alone.
By Eve Igoe – Film Writer