Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Go See "Vice"

Christian Bale as Dick Cheney
By Robert Wenzel

Go out and watch this one, and let's hope the masses do also. It does a spectacular job of exposing the dark plotting of a very powerful high-level politician and how the American public is manipulated by his type.

The movie "Vice" covers the career of Dick Cheney as he climbs the political ladder and finally ends up as vice-president under President George W. Bush.

The film does a masterful job explaining the evil and calculating manner of Cheney. And Christian Bale is superb as Cheney.

I learned quite a bit about Cheney from the film, about his career and how he operated and cunningly accumulated power as VP.

Cheney will not be happy with the movie. Neither will Colin Powell, who is portrayed as weak, in particular leading up to the Iraq war and his infamous UN speech where he claimed there was strong evidence that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons. The film shows that he knew full well that there wasn't any clear evidence that Hussein had nuclear weapons. He was just unable to buck Cheney and those around Cheney.

Bush administration lawyers, John Yoo and Alberto Gonzales, are both portrayed, justifiably so, as evil lackeys. Donald Rumsfeld gets the negative treatment also.

And there is a curious hint of a Supreme Court fix during the Bush-Gore recount decision that went before the court. It turns out that Cheney knew Justice Antonin Scalia from way back.

I am assuming, and it appears so, that all the facts in the film are accurate. With the dialogue for the most part created, it results in a few minor politically correct and bizarre moments.

During a Bush-Gore recount scene, one of Cheney's cronies blurts out "Can you imagine what the Russians are thinking?" I do not recall any discussion about Russia anywhere during the Bush-Gore recount period.

Early in the film, several scenes show a 1960s drunk, lazy Cheney, who dropped out of Yale because of poor grades and ended up getting a job laying power lines in Wyoming, he was finally given a talking to by his wife Lynne. In this dialogue, Lynne says that she had chosen Cheney as her partner because "Women can't become powerful themselves" in that era.

While the film is a very important contribution to how Cheney operated and it will hold your rapt attention throughout, there are many cinematic tricks and editing options that are more annoying than helpful. For one, after watching this film, I have seen enough too-long, black, blank screen transitions that are surely enough to cover the rest of my life.

One trick that does work is that of a narrator, who does appear in the film from time to time, and we don't get to learn his role until late in the film.

Beyond Cheney as a skilled operator who ran circles around George W., the film also leaves a few facts just hanging from time to time, they make you wonder just what happened at those times where there seems to be lacking full public information.

That particularly comes through when Cheney is near death and needs a new heart to survive. Nothing is said in the film, but the scenes surrounding this do make you wonder just what was done to magically get Cheney the heart he needed.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of

1 comment:

  1. Good essay. Dick Cheney was the epitome of nefarious Neo-con politics .... deceitful, manipulative, wicked. There are two great evils lurking in American politics - Radical Progressives who wish to impose their Marxist fantasies and Reactionary Neo-cons who want to transform the United States into a corporate fiefdom. Both extremes must never be allowed to gain overwhelming power or disaster awaits.