Vice is the follow-up film to The Big Short from director Adam McKay, and like that film it deals with real-world events and like that film it stars Christian Bale and Steve Carell. It follows Dick Cheney and his journey from being a Yale University drop out to being the most powerful vice president the United States had ever had and the events that led up to that point.
Much like The Big Short it seems to be remarkably well researched, and given that I’ve not seen anything around any lawsuits or anything like then there’s an assumption to be made that it’s reasonably accurate. It does humanise Cheney while at the same time making him something of a villain and implying he caused some of the issues now facing American government with decisions he made.
Tonally Vice is quite similar to the previous film, it works in a sense of humour and a way of explaining the more complicated aspects of proceedings without talking down to the audience. It’s a delicate balancing act that I think is handled really well and makes it incredibly accessible to the audience, I really had no idea beyond the absolute basics and I was able to understand what was going on.
Steve Carell, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell all give cracking performances as Donald Rumsfeld, Lynne Cheney and George W Bush respectively but the film belongs to Christian Bale as Dick Cheney. He pretty much transforms into the role, he’s put on weight and has worked on the mannerisms of the man and this dedication combined with his talent lead to an unreal portrayal that may very well net him another Oscar.
Overall it’s definitely a film worth seeing if you liked the Big Short or you’ve a passing interest in US politics or just want fancy seeing something a bit different. It’s really hard to believe that this film is from the same guy that did Step Brothers but I’m hoping that McKay continues with these fact-based films, especially if they prove to be as fascinating as this one, the shame is it seems to be on the way out of UK cinemas after only just over a week on release.
TBG Score: 8/10