VICE – A Review by Gadi Elkon

VICE explores the epic story about how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as Vice-President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today.” 

Here is my full review of the film.

Adam McKay has continued to mold his writing and directing into a new hard-hitting style of comedy that has become a real power in reevaluating society.  It started with The Big Short where he tackled the mortage market and its ultimate collapse through the players who witnessed and impacted it.  From his SNL writing days McKay has connected with his actors and over the decade of funny films before The Big Short we had a real comedic powerhouse.  McKay of today is slightly different.  He is looking at the world and doing more than poking fun.  VICE looks at the incredible power shift in our Presidential branch.  In the film, we witness the rise of Dick Cheney from drunkard to ultimate powerful Vice President who helped forge a new way of governing the country.  McKay’s witty nature is on full tilt and mixed with the reality of war is hitting a new level of impact.  VICE is not just a look into the way a man changed things but rather the immense way in which our world has forever been changed.

Along for the ride in McKay’s films are his usual talented ensemble of players.  If any filmmaker has the ability to be the new Robert Altman, when it comes to wrangling a great cast, it’s Adam McKay.  Christian Bale steps in the large figure of Dick Cheney with a real gusto and completely transforms himself once again.  Amy Adams puts in an Oscar worthy transformation of herself as Lynne Cheney.  Steve Carell does what Steve Carell does and it’s a snarky Donald Rumsfeld this time around.  Sam Rockwell dives in an out for a few choice cameo moments as our 43rd President of the United States.  Overall you gather that a McKay film must be one hell of a fun playground.  Granted a well designed, thought out and intricate playground worth a few million bucks but nonetheless a fun playhouse for talented people to play dress up.

The film’s real standout ability is the editing of McKay’s writing and shooting to a crisp just over 2 hour mark.  Hank Corwin has only been apart of McKay’s crew for the latest incarnation of Adam.  The “new” member to this rag-tag group really has the most profound impact.  His subtle choices have helped fully complete the molding of Adam McKay into a dynamo director with a voice that needs to be heard and seen.  Corwin perfectly mixes some of the funniest moments in the film with the horrors of modern warfare to really keep the audience in a tense state throughout.  When it comes down to it the mind of McKay is the real reason to see his movies but it’s Corwin who turns them into real award worthy films.

I won’t try to spoil anything in this quality film, but there are some real moments of magic.  Young Dick Cheney really is a new version we’ve never really seen and his transformation has everything to do with the tenacity of young Lynne Cheney.  Amy Adams really owns every moment on-screen.  Lastly make sure you don’t take a pee break half way through as one of the great mid-movie moments occurs and easily is one of the funniest tricks in a film in a long time.

 

For more info:  VICE.

Directed by Adam McKay
Written by Adam McKay
Rated R
Selig Rating A
Running Time 2hr 12min
Biography, Drama, Comedyh
Release – Out Now Nationally
Starring:  Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Allison Pill, Tyler Perry, Jesse Plemons, Eddie Marsen, Bill Camp
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.