Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
There aren’t many Biopics about Vice Presidents, however, that’s exactly what Director and Writer Adam McKay’s newest Film is about. It follows President George W. Bush‘s (Sam Rockwell) Vice President Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), through many of his government office jobs. It spans from his first intern job for Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell) up until his influencial Vice Presidency.
McKay crafts a compelling and shocking Film surrounding a man that many don’t know a lot about. It’s clear McKay is no fan of Dick as he is continuously shining a light on the heinous things Dick has done in his professional life. However, McKay does give Dick credit where credit is due. That credit is given with Dick’s love for his wife, Lynne (Amy Adams), and daughters, most specifically that of his beloved daughter Mary (Alison Pill) whose happens to be in a relationship with a woman. McKay’s Script shows respect to Dick for deciding to be absent from the campaign when it came to its view on gay marriage.
McKay is back again with his The Big Short Editor Hank Corwin, to bring something special to Vice. Corwin’s editing prowess, especially in a scene where Dick is asking Bush for immense amounts of power as VP, is crucial. The scenes cut between Dick fishing and the conversation between him and Bush, comparing Bush to a fish that Dick is bound to catch and control. The Make-Up and Hair Stylists do a tremendous job of ageing each of its Cast members. Nothing is missed from minor to major changes in wrinkles, age-spots, and the added greyness in their hair.
Vice is lead by an all-star Cast loaded with talent. Christian Bale gives one of his finest performances as Dick. Its Bale’s ability to disappear that’s on full display. He has changed his voice, stature, walk and even the appearance of his eyes, which completes the transformation. Yet, it’s Amy Adams who steals the show. The well-loved Adams is a force as Lynne Cheney. Lynne was a strong Republican and, as the Film depicts, cared more about the Cheney name within politics than the happiness of Mary. The casting of Adams is crucial because of her sweet nature, resulting in a balanced portrayal of Lynne rather than the one-note harsh mother she could’ve been. Both of them are rounded out by solid supporting performances from Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell and Alison Pill.
Overall, Vice takes a liberal view of the life of Dick Cheney while taking a unique spin on the Biopic genre.
eOne Films release VICE on Tuesday, December 25, 2018.