If one approaches Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic as a character study, it’s a bit of a letdown. There isn’t much information about Cheney that’s not based solely on his public behavior, which means that he’s a consistently aloof main character despite Christian Bale’s best efforts under pounds of look-alike makeup. However, as a movie, it’s absolutely terrific: Funny, incisive, and polemic, it has no respect for its titular character, and it’s that narrative scoffing that makes the whole thing so distinct and effective. There are a number of standout supporting performances along the way but none quite as effective as Amy Adams as Cheney’s equally hard-edged wife, and she’s downright intimidating in a number of scenes. At over two hours, the movie does have a tendency to start dragging towards the end, but overall it’s a delight that’s much better than its muted reputation suggests.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)