Vice 為副不仁 (2018) - USA
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
After depicting the 2008 financial crisis in “The Big Short”, Director Adam McKay takes on a bigger fish in the form of the most powerful Vice President in US political history - Dick Cheney. “Vice” is the kind of political drama that is also one that is concentrated on human morality, human condition and survival of the fittest. Christian Bale is absolutely spot on as the quiet yet devastatingly dangerous Cheney whose mere presence provides the backdrop to the oil war against questionable terror in the form of targeted Iraq. This is a powerfully constructed film that is equally through provoking and fascinating as we see the ultimate master pulling the strings behind the most powerful leaders of the free world.
Christian Bale is perfectly disguised and padded up in almost uncharismatic manner as he guile with steady quietness that hides a level of canniness within his eyes. Behind every bad mad is a even worst woman, comes in the form of Amy Adams who made the could have been paper thin role into a true partner in crime. One of the most effective scenes come early as Adams outburst with the ultimatum of threatening to leave if Bale does not step up. This is not just the turning point for Cheney, but for many people. Equally menacing is Steve Carell as former mentor and leading co-conspirator as Donald Rumsfeld as the duo waltz through the White House over several generations of Presidents. Carell is absolutely vigour and despicable. Sam Rockwell chews scenery as the incompetent George W Bush.
All in all, “Vice” clearly paints Dick Cheney as the evils of all mankind and alludes him as the root of all problems in the world. Political bias is clear, but films like these is hard to be entirely subjective, especially when you have celebrities producing the film. Still, McKay manages to create an atmosphere that allows all the actors to shine as we dig deep into their political and personal intentions, whether good or bad or the lack of anything. As for Dick Cheney, it’s unquestionable that he was the most powerful “Vice” in both history and fiction.
I rated it 8/10
Director Adam McKay
Writer Adam McKay
Stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Jesse Plemons