by Shannon Griffiths
VICE 4.5/5 STARS
Starring Christian Bale as the most powerful Vice President the United States of America ever saw, Vice (originally titled Backseat) follows the life of Dick Cheney from his early days as a young alcoholic to his ascension to the Vice Presidency and the many controversial decisions he made on behalf of then President, George W. Bush.
Written and directed by Adam McKay (Anchorman, The Big Short) and the third film to pair Bale with co-star Amy Adams after The Fighter and American Hustle, this unexpectedly hilarious biographical drama meshes self-aware comedy with an interesting deep-dive into things that really went down during the Bush administration, giving insight into why America decided to invade Iraq with little evidence, following the aftermath of 9/11.
Featuring another almost unrecognisable body transformation from Bale (this time gaining over forty pounds for the role) and co- starring Steve Carell with the great Sam Rockwell as George W., you’ll wonder how politics could be so entertaining in a film so cleverly done, you might just end up loving it.
A wealthy CEO of a massive oil company with a history of heart problems and alcoholism chosen to be Governor Bush’s running mate in the 2000 presidential election, Cheney knew how to play the best of them. With stints as White House chief of staff and defence secretary, he sure wanted to be commander in chief but what he got ended up being more than he could have ever dreamed of. When Bush became the 43rd president of the US, Cheney began to use his newfound power to reshape the country and the world, for the best interests of whom?
A stylised, well thought out and highly engaging piece of work that manages to put you as an audience member within the film itself whilst shifting tones more than Cheney does loyalties, Bale is in Oscar worthy-form here and just might pick up his second. If not, Vice is still presidential.
AQUAMAN 3/5 STARS
The third consecutive film in three years to star everybody’s favourite aquatic-human turned reluctant superhero after appearances in Batman v Superman and Justice League, the long awaited Aquaman sees Jason Momoa reprise the role of the popular DC Comics character.
Sixth entry in the hit & miss DCEU (DC Extended Universe) but very much its own stand alone adventure mixing big-budget action with underwater fantasy – Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe and Dolph Lundgren co-star in the Aussie filmed, visually stunning new take on the expected comic-book film formula. Ditching the usual origin story for an entertaining thrill-ride which succeeds in being exactly the type of movie it aims to be, director James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring, Furious 7) delivers another crowd-pleaser fun for the whole family.
Once home to the most advanced civilisation on the planet, the city of Atlantis is now an underwater kingdom ruled by the power-hungry King Orm. With plans to start a war between the oceanic people and those of the surface world, Arthur Curry is called upon to stop this from happening. Half human and half atlantean, now known across the world as the famous ‘Aquaman’ after being seen saving the world alongside Wonder Woman and Batman, the true heir to the throne must retrieve the legendary Trident of Atlan to embrace his full power and destiny as not only King of Atlantis, but protector of the seven seas.
The butt of jokes for years, dubbed the most silly of all superheroes, Aquaman was long thought to be a character impossible to translate to the silver screen. With Momoa bringing a certain likability to his screen presence and doing just fine in his first real leading role in any picture, Vinny Chase would either be proud or jealous of his portrayal in a film that while admittedly a bit long and won’t rank in the best superhero films we’ve seen, does the job for a good time at the movies.