“VICE”  –  8 OUT OF 10

In a word:  Propaganda

     This is a political film scripted and performed in such a manner as to stir hatred, bias and animosity toward the right wing, particularly during the Bush II administration which, according to the movie, was run by the strong man behind the president, the Vice-President, Dick Cheney. If you are a hard core conservative, you will hate the movie. If you are a hard core liberal, you will love it.

     Bear in mind, “propaganda” is not always false. Defined, according to Webster, it means:  “Ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause.”

     To be fair, some of the implied and/or direct criticism of the Bush administration is deserved, particularly the invasion of Iraq and the resulting death and destruction to the Iraqi people, not to mention 4424 Americans killed and over 30,000 more injured. That doesn’t include another 120,000 estimated dead among Iraqis.

     I usually consider myself moderately conservative in most political issues, but I was definitely unconvinced back in 2003 when the Iraq war was initiated by the U.S. using the suspicion of mass destruction weaponry as a motive, though there was no positive proof.

     I vividly recall Secretary of State Colin Powell’s very uncomfortable speech to the UN in 2003 in which his task was to convince the world that we would be justified initiating a war. Powell was a good soldier, following orders, but was clearly at odds with the left the administration on this issue.  He eventually bolted from Republican to support a liberal Democrat for president in 2008.

     Propaganda is not always false. In this film, the liberals point out some of the flaws in George W. Bush, making him appear no more than a weak puppet when the real power was vested in Cheney.

     The film crisscrosses the life of Cheney and his wife, Lynne, from the early days when he was a barroom brawler and she an angry wife threatening to leave him. He cleaned up his act, but the film depicts the negative impact of having a gay daughter that played on his future political ambitions. Because he chose to continue loving and supporting his daughter, a gay marriage advocate, the brakes were on from ever running for president.

     A good deal of the dialogue and controversial incidents were either exaggerated or biased to manipulate the viewer. The film depicts President George W. Bush as a folksy fellow from Texas, unpresidential in personality and seemingly unworthy of the office. Cheney is clearly the bad guy with all the power.

     This movie should trigger future films damning about Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Donald Trump as well. Why not? There’s definitely material to work with, regardless of what side of the aisle they’re from. And that goes for many others in days of yore.

     Christian Bale is a shoe-in for an Oscar. His portrayal of Cheney, not only his physical likeness, but all the mannerisms, sneers, half-smiles, gait, speech and more, was so close to the real Cheney it would be hard to tell them apart. Amy Adams also gives us an Oscar-worthy portrayal of Lynne Cheney and all that she accomplished in the shadow of her husband. I consider her among our greatest living actresses. Tyler Perry well played Colin Powell. Steve Carrell is a good actor, but was unconvincing as Donald Rumsfeld.

     Not much to worry about with bad language or violence. It’s all politics.

     I give it an 8 out of 10.

Vice (2018) – IMDb

7 Responses to A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “VICE” – 8

  1. Charles Pierce December 28, 2018 at 2:01 pm #

    I tried to watch the film but was not able to get through the entire process. Like you I have a problem when Hollywood begins to make films that are more about the liberal mess and based upon the half truths.
    My last job before retiring was as a G3 Plans Officer at V Corps. The commander was then Lt. Gen. Colin Powell, who is the son of a Jamaican immigrant, He is a very fine human being and does not deserve all of the trash thrown at him.

  2. Joe December 28, 2018 at 4:39 pm #

    Similar to Charles, we tried to watch the film, but were unable to tolerate the OBVIOUS, exaggerated bias and had to walk out. As you stated, it was scripted and performed in a provocative manner, but was too far embellished to the left, even by Hollywood standards. I agree that Christian Bale’s performance was quite good, but again, the exaggerated grunting, side mouth speaking style, and whispered tones detracted from the portrayal. I was disappointed by the depiction of “Rummy” and Steve Carrell’s performance was underwhelming. The casting and makeup for Condi Rice was so convincing I thought it was her! All in all, I would rate the movie a 3 at best, and it was the first movie that we walked out on in the last 20 years!

  3. Charlie December 28, 2018 at 6:17 pm #

    Sounds like a skip it movie for me.
    I thought Dubya was a bafoon.

  4. tom December 28, 2018 at 8:18 pm #

    I think I’ll skip it too. Save my money for something more accurate! Thanks for the review, Marshall.

  5. John McGuire December 30, 2018 at 3:20 pm #

    Accurate and fair review, Marshall. The polar opposite reactions of most liberals and conservatives were most predictable. However, given: (1) W’s lack of experience or relevant resume for the job of POTUS (vs. his father who was eminently qualified to be President, no matter what party he might have chosen), (2) Cheney’s lack of experience other than being a political sycophant/hack going back to Nixon days, and (3) the death and destruction wrought by those – especially Cheney – behind the deception leading to the Iraq War, how is it possible for to make Cheney appear to be a worse person than he was/is?

  6. reality December 31, 2018 at 3:10 pm #

    I’m sorry the movie is not good. Have you all gone on “youtube” to see what sure looks like the real Donald Rumsfeld, on 9/10/2001, saying $3 TRILLION is unaccounted for? The next day, the audit dept. was hardest hit, and Don’s a hero for finally coming out of his office almost an hour after the Twin Towers were hit. Ann Coulter calls the widows “harpies”, and she apparently had the power to kill the investigation, just as now she tells us how we must spend $5,000,000,000,000.00.. But here we are, instead, arguing about right/left, and Bill and Barack. “Triple Cross” by Peter Lance-will that ever be a movie?

  7. PATRICK PESCE January 1, 2019 at 10:21 pm #

    Obviously a politically far left movie and in my humble opinion far out wrong!
    It is dishonest and does a disservice to this country. It is not about “if your left you will like it” or “if you are right you will dislike it”. It is about honesty and this movies is dishonest!
    After the movie ended a theme song played from West Side Story ” I WANT TO BE IN AMERRYICA”. I assume it was a subtle refugee message. What the hell did that have to do with the story line of the movie!! I have a fitting word for this movie and its producers and writers but I will be polite again: Bull Sh$t.!!
    The movie or the acting does not deserve any Oscar awards but I am sure will garner many since Oscar lives in Hollywood -Duh.