An excellent movie wrapped in an extremely biased documentary.
Vice is an odd movie. It is a biographical drama/comedy about Dick Cheney’s path to vice presidency and beyond. What I saw was an attempt at a documentary wrapped in a motion picture, which is a tricky formula. Unfortunately, this formula did not carry all the way through.
As a movie and drama/comedy it is an absolute joy to watch. The casting and acting throughout the movie really encapsulates the characters portrayed. How Sam Rockwell, who portrayed George W Bush, managed to nail the accent and mannerism the way he did is a miracle of great acting. But even if one attempts to view the movie as only a movie it still feels very one sided. Dick Cheney is portrayed in a way that not only made him seem cold hearted but also fully aware that his actions are evil. In between scenes the audience is treated to an odd monologue telling us through imagery that the effects of Cheney’s actions are indeed based on greed and ill will.
The movie gives Cheney a little bit of respite from the boogey man narrative by showing his love and affection for his family but unfortunately the good guy angle ends there.
The timeline of the movie is rather confusing at first but as the movie chugs along it becomes clearer. There is a lot of jumping back and forth so you better not get distracted or you might lose the plot at times. Vice only has roughly two hour of movie estate to cover a man’s entire life after all so the frantic editing is understandable but messily executed.
Is it worth the two hour playtime? I would argue that despite the framing and obvious bias it is worth a watch. The acting is really the saving grace and the humour that the presentation actually has at times works extremely well. It is thought provoking and I can really see why this movie upsets and divides people that are interested in politics. If you are looking at shallow albeit interesting view on the political landscape and the forming of arguably one of the most influential vice presidents in the modern age I would definitely recommend you give this movie a watch.