‘Vice’ a Stylish but Disappointing Story of Dick Cheney

A & E – The Emory Wheel

Courtesy of Matt Kennedy/Annapurna PicturesDirector Adam McKay’s biopic “Vice” chronicles the story of Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), the incredibly powerful yet secretive vice president who served under former President George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell). However, rather than analyzing the motives and mystery of one of the most controversial politicians in U.S. history, the film is simply a check-list of Cheney’s life.
“Vice” follows Cheney’s beginnings as a working-class man and his eventual rise to become one of the most infamous vice presidents ever. McKay’s latest film shares a similar style to his acclaimed 2015 film, “The Big Short.”
“Vice” is the product of documentary-esque camera work, as well as mature and innovative comedy. These stylish features aside, “Vice” is a huge disappointment. It employs an interesting subject matter but wastes its potential.
Still, the performances across the board were quite incredible, with Bale as Cheney, Amy Adams as his wife Lynne and Steve Carell as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. There was great chemistry between Bale and Adams, as well as between Bale and Carell. Their interactions drove the character development and were the most entertaining aspects of the movie. Disappointingly however, Rockwell’s performance as Bush was barely in the film, missing out on potentially interesting interactions between Bush and Cheney. One exception to this was one great scene where Cheney and Bush have a discussion in a backyard, which gave the audience a glimpse into the fascinating relationship that the two individuals had.
Additionally, a few of the stylistic signatures that defined “The Big Short” appeared in “Vice,” bolstering the entertainment value that made “The Big Short” such a great film. The film’s quirky humor was mostly in accordance with “Vice”’s use of an omniscient narrator, which also made the movie feel documentary-like. McKay’s use of stock images in small …

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