Chew's Reviews - Vice

By Gary Chew | December 24, 2018 |  

Opens everywhere on Christmas Day |  

Now crunching the cusp of an old and new year, we wonder and politically ask: how in the hell did we get HERE … the answer might be found in Adam McKay's new film about a former, still living vice president of the United States. Watching VICE reveals, in its way, that the widening of a door for something yet to come in our contemporary vernacular called, The Trump Era, received a full-bore shove brought to fruition by the guile and persistence of Richard “Dick” Cheney.

I suggest that as a probability since, if one compares how things went during the Cheney/Bush Administration with where the American government now seems headed … Dick Cheney is but
a mere pimple on the nation's chin.

Oh... Cheney takes it, for sure, on the chin via McKay's wicked script that, when you think about it, might be a punch more hurtful to the chin of George W. Bush, with lesser injuries sustained by Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush II officials we remember as Libby and Wolfowitz, etc. Yes, they all seem to linger in the national memory.

McKay is a former head writer for Saturday Night Live and has partnered with Will Ferrell making several feature films. The Big Short brought McKay an Oscar for his Best Adapted Screenplay as well as four nominations for the production. Two familiar faces seen in that 2015 picture return for another go in the VICE cast: Christian Bale as Cheney and Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld. The roster also includes Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney and Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush. Showing up for cameos, look for Alfred Molina as a waiter reading off all of the “specials” on a cafe's menu; Tyler Perry as Colin Powell and Eddie Marsan as Scooter Libby. If you pay extra close attention, you'll see Naomi Watts at brief moments on a TV screen as a news anchor.

This is the epic skinny on how a kind of a bumpkin from Wyoming becomes a bureaucratic D.C. insider and surreptitiously rises up as the real power behind a “Wizard of Oz-like curtain” veeping for George W. Bush. VICE more than merely suggests that Cheney's ascension changed much of America's political landscape and remains evident even today -- making the way for contemporary conditions to more readily run amok ... the intervening eight years of Obama, notwithstanding.

It's seldom that I do, but I've read a few reviews of VICE prior to writing this one. Some movie experts seem to be arguing against the picture, reasoning that McKay doesn't really bring his film home since he's made it a mix of political parody alongside brief sequences that lay in heavily with serious consequences tracking back to Cheney's influence. Of itself, comedic darkness isn't something that should be deemed unworthy.

This film totally kept my attention, all the way … both with well-placed humor and the relevance of times recently passed ... here at home and abroad. It visualizes much like a documentary film in several places.

Needless to say, the acting approaches the sublime in spite of the principal character the picture depicts. Bale, Adams and Carell are a kind of “joy” to watch. Bale, the actor, simply disappears into a man who comes close to being, in every way, a dead-ringer for America's forty-sixth vice-president.

It's enough to make you wan'na sing or shout, Halliburton !!!!

Copyright © 2018 by Gary Chew. All rights reserved.

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