‘Vice’ | Film Review

We are at a mediocre time in America, so it would be a good time to release a movie that follows one of the most powerful Vice Presidents to ever live with Adam McKay’s latest, Vice. Probably gonna have a tough time trying to remember what happened in here because I’m someone who doesn’t know what goes on with these politicians and whatnot. But it looks to be a huge contender this award season.

I’ve been anticipating McKay’s follow-up for a few years. The Big Short, which won him an Oscar for co-writing the adapted screenplay, wasn’t one of my favorite movies that year, but I was impressed by how it was different from his usual comedic films in digging deep into the 2007 financial housing crisis. But even though I don’t care about politics and how we got here, Vice did look intriguing based on who’s involved and having one of the best trailers of the year. Already had a feeling that I’m gonna be pretty mixed walking out of Vice, and it was just that.

Christian Bale and Amy Adams in Vice (2018)

As someone who doesn’t know anything about Cheney outside of being VP, this might be a lot to gain from when it’s hard to depict this man as someone good or bad. McKay surely knows how to capture this man and his past in a comedic and serious sense. But it kind of shows that he’s basically the reason how we are in this time now where the country is divided with ideas and problems that will be talked about overtime.

All of the performances are out of the park. Of course, Christian Bale turns in one of the best performances of the year when he truly became Cheney in front of my eyes (thanks to the great makeup effects). One of the reasons why I love him is because his abilities to physically transform his appearances in the films he’s in is outstanding. This won’t change anyone’s mind about Cheney, but it’s definitely more than an impression. Most Americans will agree that he’s probably one of the worst guys to be involved in the political party. But we do get to see how he got into power and trying to prove that he’s not the man he used to be.

Then you also have the very talented Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney and Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld giving memorable performances. Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush was pretty great, even if he’s playing a parody of the man. The only problem is that I wished he had more screen time to really feel like he’s becoming Bush. This is also interesting to see another impression of Bush just 10 years after Josh Brolin’s performance in W. And Jesse Plemons plays a unique role as the film’s narrator that comes to play later on, but his scenes were great.

Christian Bale in Vice (2018)

I felt like McKay’s script wasn’t as strong this time. It can balance its cleverness and timely subject matter to a good extent; then it doesn’t come off as uninteresting since I personally don’t get the political talk. This does feel like a biopic about Cheney, but it feels like information that could be read in an autobiography in order to understand the bigger picture. We don’t know if much of what was shown was true, but they did their f-ing best (as stated at the beginning). He seems to bring his Big Short style over to Vice and it didn’t seem to work that well here. There were some hilarious scenes to showcasing the humorous side of the film. And then sometimes the editing comes across as distracting where it doesn’t work.

Just like how our country is very divisive on how everyone views different things, I can clearly see how Vice will have people either love it or hate it. The fact that this earned the most Golden Globe nominations did seem odd to most people who’ve seen it before. Does it still have some Oscar buzz? I still say it does. But maybe it will grow on me as time passes. I will say that I really liked the ending, though.

While Adam McKay’s follow-up doesn’t leave a lasting impression, Vice still offers an insightful take on why he’s a talent with great performances from Christian Bale and Amy Adams.

Grade: B-

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