Theatrical Reviews

Vice Review

Vice 1

Studio:
Entertainment One   

What’s It About?
The making of political heavyweight Don Cheney, and his increased influence after 9/11.   

Who’s In It?
Christian Bale (The Prestige, The Dark Knight, & more recently Hostiles)
Steve Carell (The Office, Foxcatcher, & more recently Welcome To Marwen)
Amy Adams (Enchanted, Doubt, & more recently Arrival)   

Other notables include:
Sam Rockwell (Moon, Seven Psychopaths, & more recently Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad, Bridge Of Spies, & more recently Game Night)   

Director: Adam Mackay (Anchorman, The Other Guys, & more recently The Big Short)   

Audiences Expect:
Following on from the success of the Oscar-winning The Big Short about the financial crash in 2007, Adam Mackay (director of Anchorman) has turned his attention to the Republicans, specifically Don Cheney.
Obviously with the current political landscape in mind, as with The Big Short, Mackay explores the way in which today has been shaped by events in the past, and one of the chief architects of today’s world order was, perhaps surprisingly, seemingly quiet man Don Cheney.
The one time Yale drop out and heavy drinker in his youth looked set to have a very limited impact on society in the mid 60s, but when he is given an ultimatum from his wife to shape up or she’ll ship out, Cheney takes thing seriously, cleans up his act and joins the political machine after being inspired by Republican Donald Rumsfeld.
An unassuming bureaucrat for much of his life, it would seem that Cheney was biding his time, and that time came when George W Bush gained power with Cheney assuming an enormous amount of power – indeed far more than his role as Vice President usually warranted.
As with The Big Short, Vice is jam packed with an abundance of talent ranging from Amy Adams as his driven Lady Macbeth-style wife, and Steve Carell as a opportunistic Donald Rumsfeld, to a spot on Sam Rockwell as George Dubya and Alison Pill as Cheney’s gay daughter, but despite all this top talent, the acting plaudits without doubt go to Christian Bale. The former Batman has undergone a complete physical transformation, piling on the pounds, shedding the hair and developing Cheney’s distinctive growly voice. It is simply an outstanding performance, worthy of awards’ nominations, but despite this, Vice falls just short of brilliance.
Despite some superb ideas including a Shakespearean scene in Dick and Lynne’s bedroom, Mackay overplays it, with the scene overly long. Equally there is not enough coverage of Cheney’s actual political career, while Amy Adams is given limited screen time.   

In A Nutshell:
A fascinating watch but doesn’t quite live up to Christian Bale’s utterly absorbing lead performance.   

Highlight:
Christian Bale without a doubt
Steve Carell as Rumsfeld

Lowpoint:
It lacks a little detail and consequences



Certificate: 15

EDITOR’S CHOICE