©2019 by Sean Whitehurst

Vice (2018) <><><>

12/31/18

If you are considering seeing this in theaters, go see Bumblebee instead. That is probably a better use of your theater dollars and time. This movie will be just fine at home in a few months. All of the awards are probably coming from the liberal slant of the judges in this hyper-politicized era. This movie isn’t that great.

I am very liberal and I still didn't like this movie. I have my beliefs and my reasons for believing them. I get angry at our current state of politics a few times per week. This movie made me a bit angry, but it made me angry about the past. At least it didn't try to condemn Trump as bluntly as some other recent movies; Blackkklansman for example. It made me revisit things from my formative years that don't need to be revisited. A big focus is The Unitary Executive theory and how evil it is. Obama bombed plenty of people with drones. PRISM continued under his administration. Bush, Trump and Obama are all in the same boat on many things related to executive powers but the movie doesn't go after anything after Bush's term. The movie could be more balanced if it addressed how the Bush administration policies have continued after he left office; it wouldn't be a bio-pic then though.

Adam McKay wrote and directed this and The Big Short. It is obvious that this movie was directed by the same guy that did The Big Short; he also wrote Ant-Man. The style of this movie is nearly identical to The Big Short. One difference is the person explaining the 'complexities' of what is going on is a single narrator that gets a reveal at the end of the movie. It is a pretty good reveal. The Big Short had much more clever and interesting asides explaining complex issues.

This is a bio-pic so you probably know most of the story already. There is a GIGANTIC HOLE explaining how Dick Cheney became a House Intern and another explaining how he went from being an intern to a full-time position in the Nixon White House. This would have been a great addition because it would explain how he got to be a Washington insider. That story would be pretty interesting I think.

Moving throughout the movie you get no explanation of Dick and Lynne's motivations. 'People always try to take power from the powerful' is a weak motivation. Dick Cheney is a very private person so making this movie was a gigantic leap. The movie admits that it had to make educated guesses; this feels wrong for a bio-pic.

I don't like how Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice are portrayed as having a conscious and reservations about what was going on. Sure Colin left the administration and has admitted that the UN speech was a regret, but he still gave the speech. Neither of these characters deserve to be portrayed as anything but willing accomplices.

It may be possible for a conservative to watch this movie and enjoy it. If you believe in The Unity Executive theory you could look at this movie as the origins of instilling it in our executive branch. The jabs at Cheney aren't that severe if you believe he was right. If you are a liberal maybe this will fire you up in a good way. I think this was a bad Bio-pic. I don't think it deserves awards except for makeup/costumes; the makeup is very good at transforming everyone. Skip the theaters on this one and wait for it to be free to stream at home.

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