Author Topic: Vice (2019)  (Read 939 times)

dr beat

  • You're dealing with loved ones, I won't have it
Vice (2019)
« on: January 27, 2019, 05:54:39 PM »
Biopic about Dick Cheney from the people who made The Big Short. Saw it last night and loved it, not quite as good as TBS but that would be a tall order as the latter is one of my favourite ever films.  Despite Christian Bale featuring prominently in the publicity it's really an ensemble affair with good performances from Amy Adams and Steve Carrell. Best of all is Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush.

Seemed eerily topical given all this business in Venezuela.


  • Don't bring Harry
Re: Vice (2019)
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2019, 03:17:59 PM »
I enjoyed this. Some nice little directorial flourishes that injected some good humour into it and kept it pacy. I thought Amy Adams stole the show as Lynne Cheney performance-wise, Steve Carrel is very entertaining as Donald Rumsfeld but I found it hard to lose myself in his turn, he’s just Steve Carrel in every film isn’t he? Sam Rockwell for me was a bit of a one-note caricature as Dubya. Weirdly enough I left the film feeling like I knew absolutely nothing about Dick Cheney as a person at all, although I guess that’s sort of the point. Bale doesn’t really have a lot to do apart from nod and occasionally delivered measured and considered one-liners, Cheney is by far the most unremarkable character in the whole film.

This review is rubbish, soz.

7 bags of popcorn, 6 chicken wings and a big jug of ice tea.


  • disappointed bridge
Re: Vice (2019)
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2019, 05:49:58 PM »
I didn't like this. There's a review in Esquire, of all places, that makes this point more cogently. But ultimately I felt like the overall thesis that Cheney, Bush Jr and Rumsfeld were all power-hungry moral vacuums who were motivated by a quasi-erotic fixation on authority (Cheney, Rumsfeld) and by a desire to please family authority figures (Cheney, Bush Jr) was a bit of a cop-out. Cheney and Rumsfeld were true believers, ideologues, wholly committed to American exceptionalism, interventionist foreign policy and the winnowing away of the state domestically - they weren't ciphers solely fixated on the increase of executive power, as the film seems to suggest. I'm not sure why this bothered me so much except that it made it all seem quite two-dimensional - a story of bad guys rigging the system, rather than a wholesale critique of the system - maybe quite telling in terms of the liberal reading of post-Trump politics.

And although I liked a few of the directorial flourishes, some of them grated on me. I wasn't sure about the news-reader expositions or the use of real images of torture to add gravitas, which I didn't think the film had earned. The Shakespearean bit was lame. Amy Adams was good though, and I guess the relentless hammering home of the link between Halliburton and Iraq/Afghanistan is worthy of a few more bangs, even slightly haphazard and heavy-handed ones.

Re: Vice (2019)
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2019, 12:19:34 AM »
Yes I agree with the above; although it was about 2 hours long, it didn't feel like we learnt anything about Cheney's motivations - to the point that his dialogue direct to the audience at the end almost felt like a completely different character than the one we'd been watching.

Also felt it fell into the trap of showing 'bad guys' conspiring to do bad things in a very heavy handed way - perhaps the film got caught between being a drama and a quasi-documentary that wanted to show the events as interpreted by the director.  A more naturalistic style might have focussed more on the character's internal motivations and shown his actions in a more banal way (i.e. rather than bad guys sat in a circle smugly agreeing they could do what they want - it almost felt like Bond villain dialogue).  A liked some of the flourishes at the time, but thinking about it now some of the stuff like showing a fish being reeled in while Cheney negotiated with Bush seems really on the nose.

Decent try though.  I award this 6 shotgun blows to the head.

Re: Vice (2019)
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2019, 11:00:42 PM »
Daring attempt - both in form and subject - and pulls it off very well.

9/11 dead Iraqi civilians from me.

Re: Vice (2019)
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2019, 10:48:46 PM »
I couldn't help but see Rumsfeld as Brick Tamland. They had the same glasses.

Sam Rockwell looked like Alex Chilton rather than GWB though.

Re: Vice (2019)
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2019, 11:53:25 PM »
Stepbrothers and The Other Guys are top comedy films. But with McKay's move to more serious subject matter like the Big Short and this one it feels like the highly stylized nature of these films are covering for a poor grasp of the subject matter.