Director: Adam McKay
Cast: Steve Carell, Amy Adams, Sam Rockwell, and I shit you not, Richard Bruce Cheney, 46th Vice-President of the United States as himself.
Have I Seen it Before: No. I mean, I saw nearly all of the events indicated play out on TV as they did… But I never saw it like this
Did I Like It: More than I thought I would. Oliver Stone’s W. (2008) never quite came together because it felt like the events were too recent, and the examination of them was too shallow. This is a completely different movie. Richard Dreyfuss, eat your heart out.
We live in weird times. With a series of wacky poncho-related mishaps, becoming Michelle Obama’s refined sugar supply, and managing to join the rest of us in thinking that the clown in the White House needs to go, George W. Bush has increased his likability tenfold. He’s certainly not the worst thing that happened to the republic anymore, but more of a well-meaning idiot who couldn’t live up to the moment in history he inherited.
So, when Adam McKay’s frenetic, nearly schizoid film about the true President of the oughts unfolds, and I begin to respect—if not quite like—the second Vice-President in history to notably shoot a guy, it feels like the normal rules of the universe don’t apply anymore.
But then, McKay deftly pulls the carpet out from under us and reminds everyone that Cheney wasn’t an ironman who was willing to make the tough, yet perhaps, maybe necessary decisions to keep us safe, and has made absolute peace that he is a necessary villain, or to bother a line from a Christian Bale movie I saw once: He’s the hero we need, because he isn’t a hero, and he can take our hate.
Except, he isn’t. In truth, he slithers through the beginning of the movie with a chip on his shoulder, and after he gets his first taste of power, he barrels through the last forty years, wrecking everything along his way, even the things he might have claimed were more important than the power that lifted him from being a dirtbag in the first place.
Seriously, fuck that guy.
…wait, Christian Bale was in this movie? I didn’t notice him. I don’t know what you’re talking about.