Christian Bale, an actor who once embodied Greek marble-statue physique in Mary Harron’s brilliant American Psycho, is notoriously committed to altering his bod to get into the spirit of a role. And if you’re wondering what might have happened had Patrick Bateman grown up and ascended to second-highest-office, maybe the answer is: got a beer belly and orchestrated the Iraq War, among other dastardly things, as depicted in the new trailer for Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic Vice.
McKay is pretty good at portraying power, corruption, and the seeming inevitability of the unscrupulous rich white American male—he did The Big Short—and Vice already promises to be an infuriatingly satisfying look at that 2000s Rasputin, aka W’s Dark Father, who really did a fucked-up number on this country over the course of several decades. Vice seems to trace to Cheney’s beginnings in the House as a representative from Wyoming (on behalf of my home state: sorry), through to warmonger Defense Secretary under Bush the First, to VP straight from Halliburton CEO, a company which if you recall was awarded many lucrative government contracts during the Iraq War (the second). Bale as Cheney is a bit of genius casting, but don’t sleep on Steve Carrell as Donald Rumsfeld (PERFECTION), Sam Rockwell as the bumbling Bush II, and Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney.
Part of what makes McKay’s directing so delicious is the rather defeating bit of self-schadenfreude, his fealty to an honest depiction of what it feels like when your cocksureness is such that it dominates the world, and therefore as a presumably not-as-powerful viewer your sense of vindication in utterly loathing these fuckers is an equal triumph. This looks like it will deliver in truckloads on that feeling. (It’s also worth noting that McKay’s next project is a film adaptation of Bad Blood, John Carreyrou’s scammer tome about Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes, which is deeply exciting.) Vice is out December 21, the perfect movie to get you into the holiday spirit to wreck shit. I can’t wait!