Vice | Teen Ink


April 30, 2019
By MovieReviewer_18 ELITE, Short Hills, New Jersey
MovieReviewer_18 ELITE, Short Hills, New Jersey
675 articles 0 photos 8 comments

 Vice is a move revolving around the mostly untold story of Dick Cheney's rise to power. From dropping out of Yale to receiving two DUI's, it never quite seemed like Dick was going to become one of the most influential people of the beginning of the twenty-first century. However, things begin to slowly change once he gains a congressional internship and decides that he should be a Republican. This sets Dick on a path where he eventually becomes popular amongst other Republicans and gathers together an impressive career that includes chief of staff, defense secretary, and House Minority Whip. Despite all of those accomplishments, what Dick really wants is the ability to become president and demonstrate the true power of the strongest leader of the world's strongest nation. However, this masterplan of his cannot be carried out when he finds out that his daughter is gay and decides that attempting to run for president would probably be destructive for her, since all of the other candidates would target her. It finally seems like Dick Cheney's dream of becoming president may never become a reality, but then a golden opportunity arises in the form of George W. Bush. Although Dick understands that the role of vice president is usually not as lucrative as it may sound, in George Bush, Dick realizes that he has an opportunity to seize power. After some toying around, Dick is able to convince George that he will become his running mate, as long as there is a common agreement that Dick may handle some tasks that aren't typically meant to be done by a vice president and that George doesn't ban gay marriage. When George Bush wins by an extremely narrow margin in the 2000 presidential election, Dick Cheney is able to use his new level of power to reshape both the country and the world as he forever affects history. 

 Vice manages to be a fairly entertaining movie that is both well done and clever. The beginning of the movie brilliantly sets the stage of the rest of the movie and allows the film to truly show a comparison of how much growth occurred for Dick Cheney. The middle of the movie does a magnificent job of progressing things along for the movie and showcasing the progression of Dick Cheney's career. The ending of the movie does a great job of demonstrating the raw personality of Dick, but at times, it feels like it tries to wrap everything up too quickly. Granted, there's only a small amount of time that's used for the movie to really showcase the entirety of Dick Cheney's political life, so it seems like that was inevitable. The actual conclusion of the movie is quite brilliant, because it helps to put the truth into the spotlight of how and why Dick Cheney was able to succeed with so much. 

 Vice is a movie that initially comes off as more of a recalling of history, not so different than a documentary, but in reality, the movie actually manages to be witty and have its own spirited flare. Taking many elements from Quentin Tarantino, the movie manages to have fourth wall-breaking scenes and unorthodox narrations that help to make some of Dick Cheney's actions truly notable for how outlandish they were. However, for some, this could be slightly off putting, because since the movie tries to showcase different perspectives of the story, including a few bits of what would have happened if slight moments in his history went a different way, the movie may become a little too politically left for some. Secondly, despite how the movie is well-paced and manages to entertain throughout, Dick Cheney doesn't actually become vice president until close to the very end, which might be slightly off-putting for some, since they were probably expecting the entirety of the movie to revolve around that portion of his life. 

 With all of that in mind, Vice will still be sure to please, because there truly is a reason why the movie was in the running for winning some huge awards. The movie is able to creatively showcase his life, while using certain metaphors to illustrate his thought processes during important moments, like by showing DickCheney as a fisherman when he was trying to convince George Bush to give him more power as a vice president, which really helps to make audiences feel like they're watching history before their very eyes. The film manages to be fairly informative, despite how some scenes may be more fleshed out, and it does manage to tie Dick Cheney's past and family life into his political career to really elucidate how the man thought. 

 The real heart and soul of Vice is its star-studded cast that shines. Christian Bale does an unbelievably spectacular job of transforming into Dick Cheney, which he literally does. Christian manages to look like him, talk like him, act like him, and think like him to create a performance that is truly noteworthy and amazing to watch. As the face of the movie, Bale needed to be able to succeed with a role that required lots of hard work, and he succeeds with precisely that. Sam Rockwell does a great job of depicting George Bush and demonstrating his true motivations, which were mostly just impressing his father. Amy Adams ferociously turns into the highly motivated Lynne Cheney, who had a huge influence on Dick's life, and Steve Carrell does a superb job of playing Donald Rumsfeld, which is actually quite interesting, since he is a beloved actor playing one of the world's most hated politicians. Even though there are a few other minor roles that help to act as the glue for the movie, and other stars do fantastic jobs, no matter what the viewer's political view is, it doesn't change the fact that Christian Bale is the true highlight. 

 Vice is actually strangely regarded by both critics and viewers alike. Despite the fact that many believed the movie would win the Academy Award for Best Picture, it doesn't seem like critics actually fell in love with the movie. Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a surprisingly low 66%, which really isn't that exceptional or impressive of a mark. To make matters worse, a measly 77% of Google users liked the movie, which is an awful score, considering that it is pretty typical for movies to get at least above eighty percent. There really isn't any clear reason for why these marks are so low other than critics may have not liked the styling, and viewers may have been upset by the fact that the movie wasn't what they were expecting. 

 Vice has an enticing cast, a bright plot, and a remarkable concept fueling it that all combine together to make a movie that is absolutely worth watching, because this story is one that needs to be told. 

The author's comments:

"By all accounts of what people saw in that room on that terrible day, there was confusion, fear, uncertainty, but DickCheney saw something else that no one else did, he saw an opportunity. As the world becomes more and more confusing, we tend to focus on the things that are right there in front of us, while ignoring the massive forces that actually change and shape our lives. With people working longer and longer hours, for less and less, when we do have free time, the last thing we want is complicated analysis of our government, lobbying, international trade agreements, and tax bills. So it’s no surprise that when a monotone bureaucratic Vice President came to power, we hardly noticed as he achieved a position of authority that very few leaders in the history of America ever have, forever changing the course of history for millions and millions of lives. And he did it like a ghost, with most people having no idea who he is, or where he came from. How does a man go on to become who he is?" - Kurt/the narrator

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