DIRECTOR: adam mckay (anchorman: the legend of ron burgundy, the big short)
STARRING: christian bale, amy adams, sam rockwell, and steve carell
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Gov. George W. Bush of Texas picks Dick Cheney, the CEO of Halliburton Co., to be his Republican running mate in the 2000 presidential election. When Bush becomes victorious, Cheney uses his newfound power to help reshape the country and the world.
Christian Bale is no stranger to incredible physical transformations for a role. From The Machinist (2004) to American Hustle (2013), Bale has become a shape shifter of the highest order, morphing his physiology and becoming a completely different person entirely. But as Dick Cheney in Vice he out does himself. Its Cheney who stands, growls, and plots before you in all of his physical shape, diction, and mannerisms. Its out of this world good.
Vice follows the early life of Dick Cheney all the way through to his time serving as George W Bush's vice. When we first meet Cheney he is an alcohol swilling college dropout working as a linesman. When his wife Lynne tells him that he has to change or she'll leave him, Cheney knuckles down and manages to get an internship at the White House under Republican Donald Rumsfeld. From there its a calculated thirst and search for ultimate power.
This isn't your normal, run of the mill political bio pic. Director Adam McKay, who also wrote Vice, has crafted a completely original approach and its both hilarious and maddening in the best possible way. The narrator, the rolling credit scene, the Shakespearean soliloquy are just many of the belly laugh moments that are not only highly creative but are perfect narrative techniques that McKay uses to not only tell the story but to draw people in. Even those for who political bio pics aren't normally there thing will find themselves completely engaged in the story.
And now we get to Bale's performance. He is a titan and fills and dominates the screen both in moments of rage and in moments of reflection. Cheney is there before you and very little of the true Bale can be seen beneath it all. Amy Adams also gives a terrific performance as Lynne Cheney who is the driving force behind everything Dick does. If there was no Lynne there would be no Dick Cheney.
One of the best political bio pics in recent memory with inventive story telling and a titan performance from a very unrecognisable Christian Bale.