Tuesday, December 25, 2018


Movie Name: Vice
Year of Release: 2018
Director: Adam McKay
Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Tyler Perry, Jesse Plemons, Justin Kirk, Alison Pill, Lily Rabe, LisaGay Hamilton, Eddie Marsan, Bill Camp, Don McManus, Shea Whigham, Matthew Jacobs
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
View Trailer

Synopsis & Review:
Director Adam McKay has returned, following the critical and commercial success of "The Big Short". Much like "The Big Short", "Vice" is a darkly satirical view at the world of politics in the US, this time around specifically focused on Dick Cheney. The film introduces us to Richard Cheney in the 60s, when he's a troubled youth, and is dating the beautiful and ambitious Lynne. After a second arrest for a DUI, Lynne gives him an ultimatum, one that puts Dick on a path to politics, where he eventually starts working for Donald Rumsfeld. He works in politics and in the White House through the 70s, including the fallout of Richard Nixon, navigating health problems, Democratic stints in power in the late 70s and 90s, until he comes back in full force as a Vice President, starting in 2000, where he holds more cards and power than ever before.
Unlike "The Big Short", where Adam McKay managed to create a compelling narrative, broken across different threads to fully explain the events behind the collapse of the world economy in 2008, "Vice" goes for a biopic structure, one focused on a key political figure, while simultaneously attempting to detail the machinations of power behind the political events in the US since the 70s. The film is darkly comical, shocking and also emotional, for what it untangles, but also because it does show the more human side to the story of Dick Cheney and his family (and the ambitions surrounding them). Unlike "The Big Short" the film is not as successful showcasing analogies, metaphors and the informational aspect to the story, as much as that film was."Vice" ends up being a testimony to a life spent pursuing power, however unlike "The Big Short", it lacks the satyrical tone, and the borderline absurdity that permeated that film in certain parts. It does however feature a truly phenomenal performance from Christian Bale, who is completely unrecognizable in the role, and who truly embodies and personifies a man in his 60s, in love with his pursuits, and with his family. Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell and Alison Pill are all equally compelling in their performances. The cinematography of Greig Fraser is fantastic, as is the score from Nicholas Britell. It's a compelling film, driven by a director with a point of view that deftly mixes comedic elements with informational ones, but this time around, the performances come across as the strongest element about it. Worth watching.