Christian Bale’s performance manages to make one of the most notorious figures in modern politics a sympathetic human being.

”Vice” is about power. It’s a dark comedy biographical movie about how Dick Cheney rises to become one of the most powerful, yet problematic, vice presidents of U.S. history. 

However, it did not start out this way. When all seems lost for Cheney (Christian Bale) after dropping out of Yale, it is his partner, Lynne Vincent (Amy Adams), who convinces him to pull himself back together.

After tapping into Washington, D.C., with a congressional internship, Cheney is soon launched into the rest of the political sphere through serving positions such as White House chief of staff, secretary of defense under George H.W. Bush and eventually chosen as George W. Bush’s running mate.

Intertwined in this ambitious tale, however, are some of the dark political actions that Cheney supervises under the Bush administration, including using 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq, supporting enhanced interrogation tactics and calling for increased warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens. Although an underdog, Cheney is certainly not the perfect politician. Yet, Bale’s performance manages to humanize him.

Director Adam McKay weaves together an eerily grotesque, yet compelling story that draws viewers into the semi-factual and speculative life of Cheney.