REVIEW: Vice a crass political satire anchored by Bale


From the director who brought you hard-hitting cinema like Step Brothers and Talladega Nights comes one of the most gripping, tenacious films of the year.

Adam McKay, whose career trajectory changed with searing financial satire The Big Short, follows up with this sure Oscar contender.

This film about the life of Dick Cheney, who weasled and strong-armed his way to the Vice Presidency under unassuming George W. Bush shows how the actions of those two and the War On Terror changed America.

McKay writes and directs here, with a sharp eye and a Liberal slant, but it works, for the most part.

What rolls out is one of the most controversial films of the year, from a cast that isn’t afraid to get political.

Christian Bale once again transforms as Dick Cheney, giving his most nuanced performance since his scrappy role in The Fighter. He has undergone one of the greatest, most incredible changes in film history, one of Orson Welles’ levels.

He’s accompanied by Amy Adams, who truly is the best sparring partner he’s ever had. She’s at her best as Cheney’s wife, and she’s dynamic on-screen. Adams may possibly be the most versatile actress currently working, and it shows.

Sam Rockwell follows up his Oscar-winning role in Three Billboards with a small, showy role as George W. Bush. He escapes as the U.S. president, and does an unbelievable job with his screen-time.

Finally, Steve Carell, who was a standout this year in Beautiful Boy, gives his second fantastic performances here, as Donald Rumsfeld.

Vice is not a perfect film, and thinks it’s smarter than it is. But it’s an incredible acting showcase, and a testament to what a truly great director can do when he’s given a voice.

4.5/5 Stars

 


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