Vice: Film Review (Spoiler Free)


Detailed as a true story following the secretive and perhaps inconclusive life and career of Dick Cheney who has been widely cited as the most powerful Vice President in American History when he was in power between 2001 to 2009.

However, this telling of Cheney, played by Christian Bale, is not a clean-cut one set between those years. It delves into his personal life away from the various offices he held in the White House as well.

Bale puts on an impressive performance as the now 78-year-old politician and businessmen but the actor himself may be unrecognisable to some audience members. A not so obvious choice but a culmination of astounding make-up prosthetics and a personal weight gain of a reported 40 pounds by the 45-year-old leads to a convincing and impressive fulfilment of the role depicted on screen.

Amy Adams also provides an equally powerful performance in his wife Lynne Cheney and brings out an alternative side to the man perceived by the media at the time.

Yet, another surprising entry into this line-up of what is arguably a serious and thought-provoking feature is the appearance of notoriously funny guy Steve Carell. He pairs up aside Bale to reunite with The Big Short director Adam McKay.

Director, McKay brings an enlightening fresh take on the traditional biopic. A strong sense of style is presented throughout with creative and comical flair thrown in for good measure, even to the point of fake credits roll mid-way through.

However, the film does suffer from a clear sense of tone as a result as it tends to flick between its direction of intent just as much as it flicks back and forth through the timeline. Yet, the film does not suffer massively from this, largely due to the intriguing and intuitive narration undertaken by Jesse Plemons which keeps the film moving with character and emotion.

Overall, the film provides a strong sentiment of thought-provoking drama which isn’t necessarily going to settle well with all audiences due to its alternative means of presenting them which ultimately affects the tone at certain points. Nevertheless, it is certainly a risky but fresh take on the dense topic of American Political History, and it should be commended for that.

Rating: 7/10


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