Length: 132 minutes / 2.20 hours
It’s a little weird to me how a director like Adam McKay has gone from directing movies like Anchorman (2004) and Talladega Nights (2006) to entertaining exposés like The Big Short (2015) and Vice (2018). Sure, I can see how his comedy background could lead to the razor-sharp wit used to educate the movie-going public about the 2008 mortgage crisis and the former vice president, respectively. It’s evident the Academy likes his new style as well, as both The Big Short and Vice were nominated for Best Picture. While I liked The Big Short a lot, Vice certainly had its moments.
I’ll give props to Christian Bale for his ability to mimic Dick Cheney’s mannerisms in this role. Sam Rockwell was also pretty great as George W. Bush, but I couldn’t get past Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld. I also appreciated the tongue-in-cheek “false ending” in Vice, as it was probably one of the funniest moments in the film. Just like how learning about the mortgage crisis was terrifying, it was equally terrifying learning how these career politicians were able to do whatever they want. Unfortunately, since this movie was played almost more like a straight biopic, it lost the ability for many of its humorous, educational asides and cameos that made The Big Short so enjoyable.
Overall, I liked this movie’s style, and I’m sure McKay has found a niche where he can be successful. After all, how much does the public know about some of these topics? Do we know how much our lives are affected by others focused on greed? These pseudo-documentaries are a great way to entertain and inform us, even if the political bias can occasionally peek it’s head out from behind the veneer of comedy.
Another entertaining exposé from director Adam McKay, I give Vice 4.0 stars out of 5.