Can we all just acknowledge how awesome it is that Adam McKay has went from directing raunchy comedies to directing riveting dramas? In 2015 The Big Short was one of the year’s best, and in 2018 Vice will end up being one of the year’s best as well. From the gripping opening scene to the final few minutes, Vice grabs you and doesn’t even come close to letting you go.
VICE explores how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as Vice-President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways still felt today.
There are numerous aspects that make Vice great, but what stands out the most are the performances. Christian Bale delivers one of his best performances as Dick Cheney. Every scene with him has the audience transfixed on the screen making it almost hard to blink. Yeah, it’s that good. His performance is very similar to Gary Oldman’s in 2017’s The Darkest Hour. Not only is Bale unrecognizable, but he is so deep within his character that you wouldn’t even know its him. In addition to Bale, Amy Adams turns in yet another powerful performance as his wife Lynne Cheney. She is WAY overdue for an Oscar, and she might snag it for Best Supporting Actress in this one. She has a few scenes where she temporally steals the show. Bale doesn’t let her keep it for too long, though. Steve Carell portrays Donald Rumsfeld and he knocks it out of the park. He doesn’t have as much screen time as Bale or Adams, but when he’s there its very pleasing. Overall, the cast might be the best ensemble of 2018.
Similar to The Big Short, Vice is a very fast paced and well-edited film. You will not check your watch in this one. McKay has a unique way of making boring information seem very interesting, and in Vice he does a few things in such an original way that its mind-blowing. There is very little downtime in Vice and it smoothly goes from one chapter to another. On top of the editing and pacing, the hair and makeup are very impressive. Bale put on a lot of weight for the role, but the look of him as Cheney in his older years is incredibly authentic.
One of the best things about Vice is that its very bold. Cheney was known as a secretive man, so knowing exactly what happened behind closed doors is impossible. There are a few aspects and one scene in particular that will make Vice very divisive. At the end of the day, this is a political film and it challenges your beliefs on what happened when Cheney and Bush Jr. were in office. Basically, you’ll either going to love it or feel that its inaccurate.
The screenplay and direction from McKay are some of 2018’s best. There is a nice balance of humor and drama coupled with foreshadowing and satire. The movie does a great job of detailing things going on during its time period that coincide with what’s going on today. A lot of what Dick Cheney did in the early 2000s affect what’s happening in 2018 and its important for people to realize that.
Vice is one of the top 10 movies of 2018 and it definitely deserves to get major Oscar attention. Bale gives a transformative performance and the entire cast is right up there with him. The best advice I can give is to go into Vice with an open mind. There is no way to know what truly went on in Cheney’s life, but this movie does a great job with the information it has. Go check it out!