“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.