Donald Rumsfeld teaches a young Dick Cheney how to get ahead in Washington, D.C. in the deleted musical scene from Vice. Last year, The Big Short director Adam McKay delivered another exploration of recent American history, this time putting the country's political system in his crosshairs. Starring Christian Bale as Cheney in one of his most eerily transformative performances, Vice received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics, but ended up becoming one of the biggest players on the awards circuit. It received eight nominations at the 91st Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor.
One of the reasons why Vice was so divisive was McKay's stylistic approach, in which he incorporated everything from a faux Shakespearean passage to mock end credits to make his points. Some found this to be a bold and daring shakeup of the traditional Hollywood biopic formula, while others found Vice to be a scattershot affair that fell short of its aspirations. Regardless, there's no denying McKay had an ambitious vision for the project, and there was a point in time when he flirted with including a musical number. Sadly, that sequence was left on the cutting room floor, but now it's been released online.
With Vice hitting Digital on March 12 and Blu-ray April 2, Fox Home Entertainment unveiled the sequence today. In it, Steve Carell's Rumsfeld takes Bale's Cheney under his wing to explain how one comes out on top. Watch it for yourself in the space below:
As evidenced by the celebrity cutaways in The Big Short, McKay enjoys finding entertaining ways to present content that could be considered dry and boring. Here, he covers D.C. staples like leaks, reach downs, and staffing better than most textbooks, filtering it all through the lens of an extravagant song and dance number. There's some nice visual comedy in the juxtaposition of Rumsfeld and Cheney calmly eating their lunch as they go over the terms, while everyone around them performs the choreography and sings a catchy tune. In regards to plot, this scene works to establish Washington as a cut-throat town of winners and losers, sending Cheney down the path that would see him become the most powerful vice president in history.
There's no denying this absurd (yet fun) sequence would have been right at home with Vice's uniquely bizarre tone, but McKay admitted he struggled finding the right place for it in the final cut. No matter how many versions he tried, it never fully clicked. With that in mind, it's probably for the best it was saved for a Blu-ray extra, rather than being forced into Vice, where it could have derailed the pacing. Considering the accolades the film ultimately received, it's hard to argue with McKay's decision.
Vice will be available on Digital March 12, 2019 and Blu-ray April 2, 2019.
Source: Fox Home Entertainment