Vice (2018)
December 27, 2018 12:34 AM - Subscribe

Vice explores how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as Vice-President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways still felt today.
posted by DevilsAdvocate (11 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This reminded me of "The Big Short" with its use of asides, direct addresses to the camera and illustrative digressions.

Fair warning that there's an oogy bit involving a surgery towards the end.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:36 AM on December 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

I had some friends agree that the asides and jumping around were disorienting and I don't disagree. Bale's Cheney was amazing though. I honestly don't get how that worked so well.
posted by avalonian at 6:03 AM on December 28, 2018

It was a well-done movie, I was happy to see Jesse Plemmons, and I'd never realized how much Dick Cheney sounded like Batman. It was not an enjoyable movie. It was, basically, just a clever reiteration of all the things I already thought about the Bush administration. I saw it last night and my shoulders are just starting to relax and my jaw is just starting to unclench.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:53 AM on December 29, 2018 [5 favorites]

I saw this with my parents on the day after Christmas...and one of the highlights for all three of us was hearing the various gasps and growls of disgust at various moments in the film.

After the film I took great delight in pointing out to my father that ten years ago, while we were coming out of yet another post-Christmas movie, I had been telling him about plenty of the things Vice had just brought up - and he had actually shushed me because "people may hear you and you'll get in trouble." "Well, looks like y'all should have listened, huh?" I said.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:59 PM on December 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

Vice was directed by the same dude as The Big Short, and I think that style works about as well here as it did there, which for me is inconsistently.

These are both important topics that risk having these silly movies become people’s primary understandings of them, and that makes me like them less than they perhaps deserve.
posted by jeoc at 7:12 AM on January 5, 2019

I liked it in the sense that I enjoyed it, which is hard to do with a movie about wonky policy conducted by incredibly dull old white men, and maybe is wrong to do, given that I don't especially want to laugh about Guantanamo or depleted uranium bombs. I also felt that the fat suit and Steve Carell who can only ever be Steve Carell was a big distraction. But on the other hand, the intentional theatricality of the casting and cutaways was cool in the sense of just being a little weird (if totally in keeping with the Big Short style) and I want more Hollywood movies to have weird in them. I thought Amy Adams gave the most interesting performance. And hats off to the LisaGay Hamilton who was performing in a seemingly different movie - the drama version of this story - representing the people who knew better but said nothing as Cheney and Rumsfeld unilaterally murdered hundreds of thousands so they could loot Iraq.

I saw it with my mother in law who is a lifelong Republican. Interestingly, it was her suggestion and she liked it. In fact, she suggested at the end that maybe Cheney had his heart donor murdered to steal his heart! She's the one Trumpist I actually know and it seems to really sum up a chunk of that philosophy - that politicians are all just lying conspirators so may as well have a "straight shooter" who's "not a politician" like Trump to mix stuff up. She was totally willing to believe Cheney was a sack of shit although I'm certain she voted for him twice.

Adam McKay is the American Adam Curtis I guess, slightly less grim and conspiratorial, with a more heavy handed humor. I like them both, but both leave me with a bit of an empty feeling.
posted by latkes at 12:12 PM on January 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

and he had actually shushed me because "people may hear you and you'll get in trouble."

God, we need to remember what that period felt like. My mom wanted to hang a UN flag outside their house in response to the jingoism after Sept 11, but my dad was afraid they'd be attacked by the neighbors if they did so!
posted by latkes at 12:14 PM on January 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

I was disappointed in this film.
Yes, it's difficult to depict the devil effectively, but to me it felt like an ordinary bio-pic.
posted by growabrain at 8:28 AM on March 12, 2019

This movie gave me the jitters. There was nothing to it that established him as a human. Nobody just starts talking like that, and it's the most unreal part of Cheney's persona. The more the movie was that Cheney, the less suspension of disbelief I had. There was just a nauseating uncanny valley, and I needed something to ground the movie.

I liked the credits fake in the middle, and Sam Rockwell's W was just as good as Josh Brolin's, though in a different way (I thought Stone's "W" was really well done). Steve Carell's Rumsfeld, amazing, I was really impressed. That first Amy Adams appearance where she's ripping into him was great, and her accent stuck needles into the core of my being, resurrecting memories of classmates from my yout'.

The most interesting and revelatory parts were where it detailed his mechanisms of manipulation of opinion. That I think is the real story of Cheney, but there's nothing more than a bar fight to suggest his antagonistic and sinister drive. I suppose that's one of the successfully hidden parts of him mentioned in the disclaimer at the beginning.

I feel like I want to give it 4 out of 5 stars, but also that the specter of Cheney is manipulating me into voting that high.
posted by rhizome at 8:49 PM on May 3, 2019

Now that he's gone, was Donald Rumsfeld really anything like Steve Carrell's performance of him? Not that I recall.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:01 PM on June 30, 2021

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