Vice ★★½

Reaches for Oliver Stone mid 90s contro-bio meets David O. Russell big-hearted pastiche without losing that Adam McKay bro foundation, and as you could imagine it doesn't digest well. Lots of silly moments where McKay fatally thinks he is funnier than he is, playing to an injokey phantom laugh track. And my god, put away the fly fishing! No McKay! Put it down! Leave it be! (although the closing titles are showstopping and almost excuse it). Don't stretch that joke out. Just don't. *shudder*

Still, there are some lengthy sequences in this film where I forgot how pedestrian this was. The Cheney-Rumsfeld bromance is fun. As a non-American, I had no clue that they were both Chief of Staff as far back as the Ford presidency, so educative to me in that respect. I like that Cheney held that post for one extra day over Rumsfeld (a missed gag opportunity for McKay). The cutthroat power games of the town aren't without Veep-ish interest. Occasionally the school-skit montage quick edits works.

I like Sam Rockwell, but you just know that Bale has gifted him that Dubya role whilst he had bigger actorly fish to fry. Bale would've won his 2nd supporting Oscar as Dubya. Amy Adams has played this character before, as has Alison Pill. Tyler Perry is most memorable as a haunting Colin Powell.

Vice is an entertaining way to pass two and a half hours, but a scattershot attempt at political satire to be quickly forgotten, and ineffectual at preventing Trump 2020.

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