From the mind of Adam McKay, here is a half-biopic, half-dark comedy on the life of Dick Cheney. This is Vice.
The film chronicles several decades in the life of Cheney (Christian Bale), from his drunken college years to working his way up the ladder of insider Washington politics. Moreover, the film is a commentary on the slimy, manipulative inner workings of D.C. – in case you already didn’t know about that. We learn that the rather unassuming Cheney quietly wields power during his tenure as vice president that would forever change the country and the world.
The film is most assuredly sharp in its presentation, almost mirroring the lightning speed of Washington political life. The opening is a bit jarring as quite a lot takes place. However, the film is pretty straightforward and simple to get a grasp of. I also found McKay’s use of Shakespearean tactics in the film to be indelible. Particularly during Cheney’s final (eerie, almost spooky) monologue in the film defending the actions he took. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the use of the song “America” from West Side Story during the end credits. It was an ironic bow tied onto a film detailing bullish behavior that led to many issues we still face as a nation today.
Vice is a cleverly crafted, sociopolitical dramedy that was highly intriguing to watch. I wasn’t too sure about it at first but, the more I think about what I viewed, the more I believe it could be a dark horse to take home the Oscars’ top prize.
My Grade: A