‘Vice’ Review


Vice Review — December 25, 2018 (Release Date)

January 6, 2019

Writer & Director: Adam McKay

Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, & Sam Rockwell.

Rating: Four out of five stars.


Following 2015’s The Big Short, writer-director Adam McKay has released another fast-paced drama based off real-life events, Vice. The film has fulfilled its purpose as a hilarious and inventive take on former Vice President Dick Cheney. Christian Bale plays the most powerful VP in the history of the United States and takes his acting career to new heights in doing so. Gaining over 45 pounds to play the role (mainly from pies), the method actor plays an extremely detailed and calculated Cheney with toxic motivations.

However, Bale is not alone. The wonderful Amy Adams portrays Lynne Cheney, the equally ruthless Lady Macbeth to Bale. Steve Carell, on his path eventual Oscar for drama, plays Donald Rumsfeld, the mentor to Cheney and Defense Secretary under Bush. And of course there is the president: George W. Bush, played by recent Academy-Award winner Sam Rockwell.

Adam McKay has written and made one of the most daring, true, and creative films of 2018 and a wonderful contender in Awards season. The film creatively uses characters to explain their needs in a way that mockingly points its finger at House of Cards and all current politics. The film creates a villainous atmosphere around the VP and shows the relentless subtlety of possibly one of the most influential personas in modern history. However, expressing Cheney’s character in such an unforgivable fashion, the portrayal tends to be one-sided which undercuts the acting and the film itself. While the one-sidedness presented in the film might only linger in some scenes, it shifts the acting into a more villainous standpoint. Leaning into such a despised character as the one depicted in Vice, the film paints a nearly black-and-white picture of Cheney’s politics which just isn’t true.

Other than that caveat, Vice is an extremely joyful ride. Not because of Christian Bale’s spot-on Cheney, Amy Adams’s ruthless Lynne Cheney, Steve Carell’s cynical Rumsfeld, the precise editing, and McKay’s writing and directing. But because of the film’s creative outlook on past politics that may or may not have changed history forever.