Why you should watch Vice, the tale of a vile vice president

A dark leader: This is a story of a man who masterfully used the system to further his personal gains Pictures: supplied
A dark leader: This is a story of a man who masterfully used the system to further his personal gains Pictures: supplied


Director: Adam McKay

Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell


Multiple Oscar-nominated comedy-drama Vice starts off with a humorous message from the creators, who had to deal with the subject of one of the most secretive leaders the US has had. “We tried our f***ing best,” it reads. Director Adam McKay jumped in with both feet for this film, playing on all emotions and bringing history to life in a very entertaining way.

He has humour underpinning the work, almost as if he’s mocking either the former US deputy Dick Cheney or American society in general. The film starts off by showing Cheney (Christian Bale) as a young man wanting to make his mark in politics to provide for his family and make them proud. He quickly wraps his head around how the system actually works, and other like-minded individuals gravitate towards him because of this.

Quirky cutaways that explain what a character is talking about are used beautifully. This is a film about politics and bureaucracy, so it could get boring, but these little cuts keep you engaged.

It’s an unnerving and eye-opening experience to see how easy it is for evil men to infiltrate the ranks of government and contort the system for their own agenda. Cheney was the man behind Guantanamo Bay, the naval facility just outside of US borders (but under its control) that tortured people believed to be connected to terrorist cells. That whole weapons of mass destruction in Iraq ... we’re still waiting to see what they look like. All we do know is that Cheney and his cronies were in the oil business soon after.

It’s revealed that secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell) pulled all the strings behind the George W Bush administration. Sam Rockwell plays Bush, or “Bush’s kid” as his older constituents call him, and is a magnificent moron. He really tapped into the lack of intellect that was the hallmark of this administration. That empty look Bush would have in his eyes at times – Rockwell nailed it.

They had Tyler Perry as Colin Powell. He isn’t so bad, I just think the dude is a lame. Also, he looks nothing like Powell; was James Earl Jones booked or something? Powell stood at 1.87m and Perry, 1.96m. It looks weird Adam, you should’ve noticed this.

At this year’s Golden Globes, where he received an award for his performance, Bale thanked Satan for helping him play this role. They say if you get that gong then you should be on track to win an Oscar. It should be easy enough for him to pull off, especially as the only notable movie dominating the standings so far is that Black Panther rubbish.

I’m honestly not a fan of political films as I’m not a fan of politicians or any of that kind of mess. However, when the camera highlights just how twisted these people we look to for leadership are, I can firmly get behind it. This might just be the best film in this genre I’ve seen. There is something eerily candid about it, almost as if McKay had been a fly on the wall during the Bush administration.

Quite simply, you must watch this.

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