review by Bobby Blakey
Some of my favorite movies are those based on true events. When done right they often offer up some of the greatest film moments ever. When Adam McKay brought his previous film The Big Short to the big screen it both entertained and opened up a story that had to be seen to believe. Now he is reteaming with Christian Bale for his latest film Vice co-starring Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Tyler Perry, Alison Pill, Lily Rabe and Jesse Plemons. Could this be another of those great stories told in a interesting way or will it feel like a major cover up?
Vice follows the story of Dick Cheney, a bureaucratic Washington insider, who quietly wielded immense power as vice president to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today. Going in I was a bit worried that this could end up being one of those slow political stories that are informative, but not all that interesting. It’s pretty clear from the first moment featuring a statement regarding not all of this film being totally accurate, but they tried their best that let you know it was going to be something different. Make no mistake the usual political elements are there, but it is crafted in such a great way it is hard to not stay interested from beginning to end.
For this film to work on any level you have to believe Bale as Dick Cheney and thanks to a great performance and insanely awesome make-up job you do. He is always great, but really brought all to this role making it easily one of his best performances to date. He captured a lot of the mannerisms that helped to fully realize his transformation. The supporting cast were great as well with Amy Adams bringing the strong female presence by his side as his wife. They have great chemistry that is important for you to believe the struggles they go through in both the world of politics and their personal lives.
If there is anyone that rivaled Bale in the film it had to be Steve Carrell as
Donald Rumsfeld. He is great in the role, but more so his look as he gets older. Carrell has the squint going and really captures everything I ever saw of Rumsfeld over the years. Rockwell does a good job as Bush as well but it took me a bit to really get into his take on the man. It wasn’t anything to do with his performance as it was great it was the initial look just didn’t scream Bush to me, but worked better as he was aged.
The structure to the story brings in some fun elements to break up the generic direction it could have taken and while it will likely divide some due to the politics here I felt that it came off pretty balanced. The film felt like it stuck to focusing on the life and history of Cheney’s career as opposed to forcing just the politics down the viewer’s throat which a lot of these kinds of movies do. I loved this film and all the great performances and hope it is one people check out.
In addition to the film this release includes bonus content including deleted scenes, a gallery, featurettes and more. Grab your copy of VICE available now on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD from 20th Centruy Fox Home Entertainment.