Powerful, ruthless and bold. If there are three words to describe the great and elusive reign of Richard aka Dick Cheney as Vice President of the United States, that is it. To many, the man who stood behind George W. Bush between the years of 2001 and 2009 was nothing but a figure head, but his story is more far reaching and influential than many had thought possible.
Set to drop into Australian cinemas from December 26, the latest political drama, VICE, will see the true story of Cheney’s influence brought to life as he navigated the events that changed the course of history forever. From the 9/11 attack that saw the World Trade Centre reduce to rubble, the beginning of a long and devastating Iraq war and the birth of ISIS, it was his influence on policies and legislation – including the introduction of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ – that made his name infamous.
Written and directed by Academy Award-winner Adam McKay (The Big Short, 2015) arrives the comedic yet equally powerful VICE that sees an unconventional look at the-behind-the-scenes of the decades-long rise to all-encompassing power. From an electrical worker in rural Wyoming to his enigmatic journey throughout the Whitehouse as Congressional intern, Chief-of-Staff, Secretary of Defence and finally Vice President, its complex narrative is explored with an all-star cast, tasked to reveal it.
Headed by Christian Bale playing Cheney, the film sees another metamorphosis moment from the Oscar winning actor. Accompanied by Amy Adams (Arrival, American Hustle), Steve Carell (The Big Short, Beautiful Boy) and Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) even if the storyline had failed to deliver, its character transformations, would continue to fascinate and perplex viewers for its entire runtime. Capturing the tone of each character, particularly the red-neck upbringings of Cheney and Bush, is no easy feat, but had it almost exactly spot-on during every line.
As a true political novice – although I hate to admit it – the sheer concept of a political film had made me initially question its relevance to a younger audience. Spoiler alert: I was wrong. Like McKay’s format for Academy award-winning The Big Short, his knack for telling complicated and lengthy biopics is quite apparent. With the help of Plan-B producers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner (Moonlight, 12 Years a Slave) the team created a wholehearted and profound script that was both informative to the audience and a clear representation of the directors extensive research. With layered dichotomy of comedic interludes and educative yet entertaining narration, VICE is more engaging and informative than anything a classroom could teach in 132 minutes.
In a current time of political unrest throughout the world, its release is one that sparks important conversation. Exploring some of the 21st century’s most pressing societal issues, its difficult task of telling an unbiased view of the 9/11 attack, Iraqi invasion and the rise of radical group ISIS was done with careful consideration and thought.
However its most powerful message is seen at the end. A provoking message that will stay with me for lifetime comes from the final soliloquy, spoken in true Dick Cheney form.
VICE has already been nominated for six Golden Globes and four Academy Awards. Dropping on December 26 in Australian theatres, watch the trailer below before brushing up on some jargon.