Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
Common wisdom is that politics is by nature a dirty business. A corollary is that to get ahead in politics you must compromise your own principles and/or the principles of those whom you represent.
What happens if your own principles and the principles of those who represent are suspect? What happens if some of those principles are not just suspect but evil?
VICE attempts to answer both questions in both humorous and terrifying ways. To a great extent it succeeds, for several reasons.
Overall the performances are excellent and uncannily mix good acting with effective character emulation. The script — usually — is clever and snappy. Direction, editing, and photography are often nuaned, even when what is being displayed is bizarre or outrageous.
What makes the movie unsettling and at times terrifying is that much of what is portrayed here is true. Many of these things did happen. Many lives were destroyed as the result of the events and decisions portrayed in VICE.
Were the words and expressions portrayed here true and exact, especially the personal Cheney family discussions? I have no idea. But so much of what is on display here is true. Many of those directly involved have not recanted.
As the saying goes, elections have consequences. The consequences of the decisions and actions portrayed in VICE continue to this day and extend beyond the destruction of blood and treasure. Anyone watching this film might justifiably ask, “What kind of a society tolerates such leadership and keeps it in power?“
Review copyright (c) 2019 by Dennis D. McDonald