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FILM REVIEW: Vice

Dwight Brown, Film Critic | 1/2/2019, 6:57 p.m.
It was an historic power grab. Not the Republicans taking back the White House after a controversial, razor-thin win by ...

McKay’s script is clear. It’s easy enough to follow the trail of lies, deceit and power plays. Easy to track Cheney’s backstory and the high and low points in his life: flunked out of Yale, a blue-collar job, an internship in Nixon administration, heart attacks, adjusting to having a lesbian daughter and a stint as the CEO of Halliburton, the company that received a billions-of-dollars no-bid contract for reconstruction work in Iraq.

McKay’s wink and nod direction makes a trainload of facts, figures and individuals easy to digest. Even if what he is presenting is obviously one-sided and almost as pitiless as the main character. The writer/director’s very smirky comic touch adds a teaspoon of sugar to some very bitter medicine.

Looking over McKay’s shoulder is the very skilled editor Hank Corwin (The Big Short) who masterfully pieces together humorous, dramatic and informative scenes with cutaways to provocative images (e.g. a heart beating on its own) into a visually engaging montage.

The artful photography is courtesy of cinematographer Greig Fraser’s (Lion) discerning eye. Susan Matheson’s (The Big Short) costume design screams Republican: She must have depleted Brooks Brothers entire stash of dowdy gray suits. In the few moments when the proceedings lose verve, Nicholas Britell’s (Moonlight) over-the-top musical score pipes in and raises the energy level back to mild hysteria.

Red state audiences will yawn. Blue state audiences will be outraged and see parallels with the current administration. What both sides of the aisle will witness is a barrage of revealing information about politicians and events that significantly changed history—not necessarily for the better.

Visit NNPA News Wire Film Critic Dwight Brown at DwightBrownInk.com