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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Vice 2018 * * * Stars

ViceDirector: Adam McKay
Year: 2018
Rated R
Rating: * * * Stars
Cast: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Sam Rockwell

"I want you to be my VP. I want you. You're my vice". So quips Sam Rockwell's barbecue-noshing president who's reduced to a non-radar blimp in 2018's Vice. Yeah, it's my latest review.

Covering about forty years in the life and times of ex-vice president Dick Cheney, Vice vies with the Bush administration's take in 2008's W. and gives it a little more pizzazz (ironic seeing that a certain controversial helmer directed W.). In veracity, I had been readily waiting to see Vice on a traditional Christmas Day. Safe to say I wasn't disappointed.

Image result for vice 2018 movie scenesReleased at 132 minutes with its narrator as veritable heart transplant donor and its end credits coming in rather prematurely (ha-ha we get it, slick Dick wasn't quite done with his anti-terrorize-r career yet), Vice gives Dick Cheney impressionist Christian Bale another chance to be his chameleon self. His method acting is in the stylings of Robert De Niro while his weight has fluctuated over the years like Oprah. With Vice, Christian becomes so unrecognizable and goes so far down the rabbit hole, you forget he's even in the darn flick. Put Bale's movie posters of 2004's The Machinist and The Fighter next to his yellowed poster for Vice. Come on, I dare you.

Anyway, Vice has out of the box film-making, an uber-skimmed narrative, and a need to sometimes feel like a political, bullet point presentation (don't worry, it's still all good). The pic also announces director Adam McKay as the hottest thing going in Hollywood. Heck, if you let him grab you by the lapels and sweep you into his radical vision (without conventional judgement), Adam's Vice might just "entice" you.

Image result for vice 2018 movie scenesMcKay as the brainy lovechild of early David O. Russell and 90's Oliver Stone, breaks a lot of cinematic rules here. He knows it. You know it. But hey, he doesn't really care. McKay infuses Vice with freeze frames, archive footage, reverie elements, bucked humor, and splashy editing. Granted, he sometimes wanes focus and skips the information superhighway (unlike in The Big Short) by showing more of the Chief of Staff positions Cheney held as opposed to what he actually did (this is only in the first hour or so). Still, Vice is commendable, outre oeuvre from Adam McKay. And it doesn't hurt that he gets great supporting work from Amy Adams, Tyler Perry, and Steve Carell (they play Lynne Cheney, Colin Powell, and Donald Rumsfeld respectively). Not as hate-filled or dour as some critics have rendered it to be, Vice might yield as one of this year's best. It gets a strong 3 star rating.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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