For Director Adam Mckay, I found “Vice” to be one his most serious movies he has ever directed. He went from directing comedy to drama. I remember his last film, “The Big short” (2015) was somewhat serious as well, but had some laughing moments, however there is rarely anything funny or charming about “Vice.” If the trailers make it seem like it is an entertaining movie to watch on Christmas day, it is entertaining for those who are deep into politics. Not so much for those who are not into politics.
Christian Bale is Dick Cheney, Amy Adams is Lynne Cheney, Steve Carell is Donald Rumsfeld, and Sam Rockwell is George W. Bush. The film’s main focus is Dick Cheney, and follows through his days leading up to his position of being the Vice President To George W. Bush. The jumps back and forth a couple of times between Cheney’s younger days, his relationship with his wife and Rumsfeld, and a couple of other global events. However, the movie does not focus deeply into the politics, I found that the element of the movie was mostly focusing on Cheney’s appearances, his power, and his attitude. Not as deep as “The Big Short.”
However, the health problems of Cheney comes up a decent amount of times in the movie. Bale has done multiple transformations and sacrifices for a variety of his roles. Before watching “Vice” I was reading that Bale had to learn how to ad-lib for the role, and also know the political backgrounds of what Cheney actually dealt with. Bale also put on 45 pounds to play Cheney. This is not the only time he has gained weight for a role. He gained weight for “American Hustle” (2013), and then lost it again to perform in different flicks. Bale is the master at changes and appearances.
For Carell, I found he did an excellent job at playing the role of Rumsfeld. He has the nerd features and the seriousness in him. However, his role was fairly brief.
Rockwell’s role of Bush did fit him somewhat. However, I felt there was not a lot of work done on Rockwell’s character to make him look similar to George W. Bush, but he played the part well. The self-centered, snarky, and opinionated tone Rockwell was successful with.
Mckay also did the writing for “Vice.” I will say I was able to tell he did the writing because it had some similar approaches in introductions and jumping to new scenes. That is because Mckay would have words listed or quotes listed in different moments to introduce a new event in the film. However, I still found the political background to be lacking.
Overall, “Vice” is not one of my favorite movies. I also would not recommend it as a film to watch on Christmas if you are trying to find something that is positive. This is a good movie if viewers do not mind some negative events, negative words, or negative content. Two and a half stars.