Vice: Five Reasons You'll Love It
For most of his career so far, director Adam McKay has been known primarily for comedies such as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Step Brothers, but in 2015 McKay flipped the script on his career to create The Big Short, an irreverent look inside the banking system which led to the global financial crisis in 2008. By applying his brand of sharp humour to a story about ruthless bankers gambling on the housing market, McKay was able to bring the complexities of the story to the big screen in a way that was both informative and highly entertaining.
Now he's bringing those skills to bear on a new film about the rise of former American vice president Dick Cheney, with Christian Bale in the starring role alongside a cast that includes Steve Carrell, Amy Adams, Sam Rockwell and Eddie Marsan.
With the film hitting cinema screens in the UK this weekend we caught a screening and rounded up five reasons why we think you'll love McKay's new film Vice....
Christian Bale delivers an Oscar-worthy portrayal of Dick Cheney
Anyone who has seen any of the promotional material for the film will already be aware of Christian Bale's stunning physical transformation, but his portrayal of Cheney goes much further than mere physical appearance and it's easy to see why Bale is considered one of the frontrunners in the Best Actor race at the Academy Awards this year.
The supporting cast are excellent too
The casting for the film is superb, particularly Steve Carrell as Donald Rumsfeld and Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush, respectively, both of whom seem like such a natural fit it's hard to imagine anyone else tackling those roles. Amy Adams also deserves a special mention for her portrayal of Cheney's wife Lynn, who is shown here to be every bit her husband's equal in one of the era's most effective political power couples.
It offers a candid insight into America's corridors of power
Aside from charting Cheney's somewhat unlikely rise to power, Vice also does a great job of illustrating the cut-throat world of American politics, with all its various cliques backroom manoeuvres. It also seems to suggest that a capacity for ruthlessness is even more important than an aptitude for political dealmaking.
It's possibly the most entertaining political biopic you'll ever see...
Dick Cheney was very much the quiet man in George W. Bush's administration and it's easy to imagine how a film about his life and career could be a less than gripping one, but Adam McKay has form in this department and cleverly weaves plenty of laughter and drama into the proceedings, making this a much more entertaining film that it has any right to be.
…but it also has some serious points to make
Vice really makes clear the extent of Cheney's power in Bush's administration, particularly with regard to the foreign policy decisions which led to the invasion of Iraq. The film not only makes clear the lengths Cheney and his team went to in order to draw tenuous links between Osama Bin Laden's terrorist outfit and Saddam Hussein's government, it also shows their role in turning ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi into a cause célèbre in the region, as well as the consequences of doing so.
Vice is in UK cinemas now