Vice UV or iTunes Code
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars. With injections of humor, a fact-based political bio-pic
Theater review. Possible spoilers. Relying on a similar formula he used in “The Big Short,” director/writer Adam McKay takes on the controversial figure of Dick Chaney, the vice president of the U. S. under George W. Bush. Although as McKay suggests, Chaney was perhaps the one in charge much of the time.
Cheney's story begins in the late 1940’s. After attending and flunking out of Yale, Dick Chaney (Christian Bale in a remarkable performance both dramatically and physically) returned to his adopted home state of Wyoming. He worked as a lineman and spent most of his off hours in the local saloon. After getting bailed out of jail for the second time, Chaney’s wife Lynne (Amy Adams) warns him that she will leave him if it happens again. It doesn’t. Chaney graduates from the University of Wyoming and has 2 daughters, Mary (Alison Pill as an adult) and Liz (Lily Rabe as an adult).
With support and prodding from Lynne, Chaney gets the bug to go to Washington, D.C. as an intern. There he meets Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell), who at the time was a Republican consultant. Rumsfeld is giving a somewhat humorous introduction to the new interns. One of the other interns tells Chaney that one of them must go to work for the Republicans and one to the Democrats. Chaney asks what party Rumsfeld was in and was told the Republicans. Chaney says, “Well then I’m a Republican.” Chaney and Rumsfeld would work together for the rest of their political careers.
If this sounds a bit boring, it isn’t. Clearly Chaney has his eye on a bigger prize and wife Lynne isn’t just along for the ride. The pair often work in unison for Dick’s success. When he decides to run for Congress as the lone Representative from Wyoming, Lynne saves his campaign, stumping for him when he has the first of his numerous heart issues.
While this is all playing out, we get a humorous if biting narration from Jesse Plemons who plays a character named Kurt. We don’t know what his connection is until the end of the film. As with “The Big Short” we get a variety of scenes of “talking to the audience,” with Kurt and a generic TV anchor played by an uncredited Naomi Watts. This somewhat explains things in terms of moving the story along, especially for those now intimately in tuned with politics.
Cheney and his friend Rumsfeld move in and out of the political circus of Washington, key players when the Republicans are in power and conniving and colluding when they weren’t. Perhaps some of the most controversial scenes come when George W. Bush approaches Cheney to become his running mate against Al Gore. Neither Dick nor Lynne think the Vice job is significant nor even a step up. By that time Cheney had already been a presidential chief-of-staff and Secretary of Defense and is now the CEO of Halliburton, an energy company.
After subsequent meetings with Bush, Cheney was convinced that he could be instrumental in the future of the nation. Bush seems to have handed off key aspects of government including intelligence and foreign policy. Cheney comes off as self-centered, power hungry and aggressive though thoughtful. Bush comes off as meek and subservient. One thing is certain. Cheney was smart, resourceful and could easily sway others in his direction. It’s a thing of beauty to watch Bale under McKay’s guidance pull this off. I will also mention that Amy Adams’s Lynne Chaney is a performance worthy of awards. And Carell is spot on as Donald Rumsfeld including his looks and characterizations.
There is also a significant amount of time given to Mary Cheney’s homosexuality. To his credit, Dick accepts it and defends his daughter. However when daughter Liz runs for Congress, Dick and Lynne advise Liz to come out against gay marriage, saying it should be up to each state.
How much of this bio-pic you believe will likely depend on your opinions going in. I had a great time. I loved it. Highly recommended.
1. Your return shipment must be within 30 days of the day your order shipped (the ship date on your invoice/receipt)
2. If your not happy just email us for a authorization number, YOU MUST HAVE AUTHORIZATION NUMBER before shipping any returns. Returned DVD movies must be unopened (Shrink Wrap & Security Seal Must Not Be Broken New) and you will receive a refund.
3. Defective items that prove to be defective new or refurbished DVD items will be replaced with the same title or refund will be issued.
4. All of the original packaging, case, booklets, liner notes, bonus disc, ect, must be included.
5. We do not pay for postage on returns.
6. Is a Bulk Order Refundable?
No. All Bulk Orders are final.
Include your original invoice/receipt and mail package to:
Franks DVD Movies
ATT: Returns Dept.
PO Box 94
Oaklyn, NJ 08107