By Che Zuro
Christian Bale in "Vice"
Being a history buff as well as seeing the transformation Christian Bale went through for this role, I was super excited to see this film.
B u t i t w a s s o s l o w.
It was so BORING.
This could have been so good, so intense.
Starting at the beginning of Dick Cheney's life, we see a young non-focused man, drinking and getting into trouble right away, speeding through marriage and a failed college life. With interesting flash backs and flash forwards, the story was unfortunately disconnected so the audience did not quite know what was exactly going on. There are vignettes of his youth and then later in life, then back to the early part of his government work, the editing of it not really making much sense. In between "scenes" the screen would go black or there would be some unrelated photo or film clip that made me wonder WTF the director was thinking.
Entering government work as a congressional intern, we see Cheney's rise in the political world, then dive bomb when Carter, and not Ford, becomes the 39th POTUS. He then becomes CEO of Halliburton Co., until Governor George W. Bush of Texas picks him for his Republican running mate. His life of power continues through the end of the film. Writer-director Adam McKay gave us a quick sketch of a film instead of something that could have been profound.
I found every actor "acting." We really do not want to see that. We want to get lost in the character, forget who the actor is who plays that character and get swept up in their emotion within the story. We want to see depth in each character, even if the person is the bad guy - SOMETHING to make you feel for that person, or understand why they are actually the bad guy.
None of the actors in this film gave me any of that kind of feeling, whether it was to feel sorry for their stupidity or upbringing or failures. It was as though they were just a shell of a character going through the motions on the outside, all while thinking, "I can't wait to get out of here."
There were points in the story where there were attempts at something funny, which failed. There was history that was being reproduced in an alternate way, on the line of fact and fiction, questionable.
It almost felt like these real people, being portrayed by a slew of amazing actors, including Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush, Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld, Justin Kirk as Scooter Libby, were being roasted or spoofed. Christian Bale, although incredibly embracing his role with weight gain and the same Dick Cheney expressions (or non-expressions), felt uncaring and stiff. There was no heart or soul in any of the characters which made me feel like I had wasted the 2 hours that it took to watch this awful film.
Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney has great acting chops, but gave us a character that had no warmth, no real love, just a power seeker. Every person has some kind of vulnerability in them, but I found none in any of the characters in this film. They showed maybe only one side of a many faceted real person.
For me, no one to root for? Failure film. All in all I think I wasted my time watching this film.