Vice ★★★★

A messy, unfocused burst of cinematic rage. Vice feels like McKay’s Magnolia: A deeply personal expulsion of built up emotions that blows right past a straightforward or concise narrative. The film more often resembles a collection of carefully organized facts than any sort of arc, and there’s definitely an argument to be made that this is by design. Similarly, the tonal shifts and flip flopping between comedy and drama can be jarring, and it’s easy to see why this might grate on some. I’d argue this to be a moot point as the events portrayed are often simultaneously both, guided by the North Star of McKay’s righteous fury. The performances are largely good with Carell as the overall standout, though almost no character carries any weight beyond that of being used and discarded by Bale’s somewhat Shakespearean take on Cheney. The tale itself lends itself to such underpinnings, and the narrator and heart gambits worked for me, though I could easily see them falling flat for other.

Though I would hesitate to call this film a rousing success, I would never once call it boring. Vice isn’t great, but as a peak into the the unbridled anger hiding within Adam McKay’s brain, it is a thoroughly realized vision.

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