Vice

Photo: Matt Kennedy/Annapurna Pictures 2018

Photo: Matt Kennedy/Annapurna Pictures 2018

If Dick Cheney was the true brains of the operation behind the ‘war on terror’, as Vice will have you believe, then it isn’t a tough leap to make to say that director Adam McKay is the brains behind unconventional storytelling through film.

Well known for his ground breaking films The Big Short, Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy, and Step Brothers McKay has a very specific style which injects dark, satirical humour into his stories. Vice takes this style and turns it up to an extreme.

Part biopic part comedy Vice explores the life and times of former US Vice President Dick Cheney, portrayed spectacularly by Christian Bale, as he ascended to power and ultimately become the most powerful Vice President in history.

Christian Bale’s transformation into Dick Cheney is almost worth the price of admission alone, it really is that astonishing. 

Narrative wise the film tends to jump around the timeline freely, which can make it difficult to follow. The injection of comedic elements, often at the expense of Cheney’s well documented heart condition, can occasionally be a little heavy handed and distracts from the story attempting to be told.

Overall though this is a fine film, which is an unapologetically harsh critique of Cheney and the entire Bush regime. Viewers will find themselves learning and drawing connections between political players, which they otherwise may not have known, whilst simultaneously laughing out loud.

★★★ ½

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