A creative interesting film, that leans toward comedy, but has the capability to be a wonderful satire or a fictional study of power, money and luck.
Beginning in the early sixties we see Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) as a drunk, who has been kicked out of college. In the bar scene he is constantly ready to start a fight until his wife Lynne (Amy Adams) grabs him emotionally and sets him on a path that leads to the power centers of the United States.
Love or hate Cheney’s politics this is a seller bit of film making. Bale with the help of forty new pounds and some superior make up looks as much like Cheney as Cheney does. If one remembers film clips of Cheney as Vice President under George Bush (43) Bale has captured all the movements, expressions and movements of his character.
Along with Bale, Amy Adams plays the driving very capable wife to Cheney who never bends in her support for him and instills drive in him whenever he needs a little push. Comparing Adam’s work as a sweet young woman in Catch Me if You Can and particularly “Enchanted” her performance here is quite impressive.
Sam Rockwell as George Bush has the moves right and displays a President who can easily be influenced, in particular when it comes to invading Iraq which costs move than 4000 American lives. Tyler Perry is Colin Powell who agrees to speak for the President’s position even when not in agreement.
What is impressive in this production are the turns that Director McKay takes from time to time. One occurs about half way through the film. The end credits begin to run and a summation of Cheney’s life which is much shorter in the public sector shows him retired at a lake house while raising dogs never having been Vice President. The story then quickly falls back on track, showing the next bit of luck which places Cheney and his pal Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell) back up front in the Ford administration.
Cheney had a number of heart attacks and at one point he finds himself near death. We then see a young man tying his shoes ready for a run. It quickly becomes obvious that this young guy has the heart Cheney needs. The dead man speaks to the audience expressing his displeasure at Chency receiving his heart, in another comical turn which might not be expected in a film with some historical significance. It also shows another bit of luck which is important to the story.
A piece of history treated with a tongue-in-cheek attitude makes for an enjoyable two hours and 12 minutes on the screen.