Does the film ‘Vice’ have an agenda? Um……..yeah.
Does that mean that it’s any less entertaining? Nope. Not at all.
Here’s the set-up; former Vice President Dick Cheney, convinced that he could never be elected President, establishes a ‘shadow’ presidency while serving ‘under’ (and yup, we use that term minimally) George W. Bush. I don’t think the concept will come as a huge surprise to anyone who followed the real-life events of Bush’s tenure in the White House, but it DOES make for fascinating stuff. And the fact that writer/director Adam McKay’s approach in ‘Vice’ is unquestionably tongue-in-cheek only adds to the movie’s brilliance.
Christian Bale, physically transforming himself to resemble the pot-bellied, poker-faced Cheney, is completely unrecognizable and 100% spot-on. His performance is really just an extended impersonation of the politician, but it works. Your political leanings will probably alter just HOW much fun you have with the picture, but there’s no denying the impressiveness of Bale’s efforts, ditto Amy Adams who portrays his wife, Lynne, Sam Rockwell as W, and Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld.
McKay employs clever goodies like narration and flashbacks in his arsenal – but there should be little doubt, ‘Vice’ is a satire. The quicker the comprehension of that fact, the more enjoyable the outcome.