REVIEW: Did “Vice” Accomplish What it Wanted?

An initial warning given before the start of a new movie exploring the life of former vice president Dick Cheney is all one really needs to know about the biopic, Vice (rated R), which opens Dec. 25.

It’s a true story, we’re told. But it also admits to not being entirely accurate because Cheney remains one of the most secretive leaders in modern history – or something like that.

Now, I love movies that are based on actual events.

Part of loving such movies includes my acceptance of creative liberty. After all, I go to the movies to be entertained, and there’s nothing worse than a film full of holes.

But, that intro did a whole lot more than tell me the movie was based on true events with a few liberties because Cheney was a mastermind when it came to being secretive. What the intro did, specifically the “we tried our (explicit) best” part was set the tone for what I knew would be one-sided innuendos.

Before I go on some tangent, though, I’d like to say that the movie was highly entertaining, had an incredible cast, and 100 percent factual or not, was downright impressive.

I’d actually even suggest you see it.

But I’d also suggest you watch it knowing that it takes some pretty big liberties with facts.

For example, the death of Lynne Cheney’s mother. The movie leads us to believe that Lynne’s father murdered her mother by drowning her in the lake. There’s even a scene where Cheney confronts his father-in-law and tells him to stay far away from his family.

Ummmm, what?

Where is the evidence to support such a claim?

I guess it’s in the movie because Lynne Cheney, played by Amy Adams, seems to believe it. Forgive me if I am wrong, but I don’t remember Lynne Cheney ever making such an accusation in real life.

Unfortunately, that is not where the innuendos end.

The movie goes on to tell the story of how Dick Cheney, played by Christian Bale – but if you ask me, I’d swear it was Cheney himself – went from a boozing and brawling crap husband who was kicked out of Yale to one of the most influential vice presidents.

Which is all true.

There’s no doubt that Cheney and Secretary of Defense leader Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carrell) were given more license and authority than almost all their predecessors once the “war on terror” began.

But the movie seems to sort of gloss over the fact that there was a president and he allowed Cheney to have such oversight – sort of. I mean the film somewhat enables the viewer to believe that George W. was just some big idiot that was running for president and would have signed over anything to have someone with experience on the ticket with him.

I’ll leave you all to agree or disagree.

The overall point of the movie, at least in my opinion, is that there was money to be made in oil and Cheney used Article II of the Constitution, which grants the president a lot of authority especially in wartime, to attack an oil-rich country.

I told you the movie was entertaining.

Look, I personally do not know what is right or made up in this story. But I can say that some of the “facts” don’t seem to align with history.

I don’t think filmmaker Adam McKay (The Big Short) tried his [expitive] best to tell a true story. I think he told a sensational story; a story that is probably going to win a lot of awards and sway a lot of opinions.

Go see it!

Bianca R. Montes

Bianca Montes is an award-winning journalist and former Managing Editor of Park Cities People. She currently serves as a Senior Editor with D Magazine's D CEO publication. You can reach her by email at Bianca.Montes@Dmagazine or follow her on Instagram @Bianca_TBD. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *