The trailer for Dick Cheney biopic Vice, starring Christian Bale as the scheming Vice President, is an eye-catching tease for the Oscar favorite - and has an amazing song from The Killers as its soundtrack. Directed by Adam McKay (The Big Short, Anchorman), Vice stars Bale alongside Amy Adams as Lynn Cheney, Steve Carrell as Donald Rumsfeld and Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush.
After set photos of Bale's impressive weight-gain to play Cheney leaked last year, it was clear that this was a film to keep an eye on. The first Vice trailer only cements that, with the framing of a newly-elected George W. Bush approaching Cheney to be his VP providing a taste of all the questionable acts that puppetmaster would engage in over the ensuing two terms. Such a promise needs a good score, and the Vice trailer rises to the challenge.
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The Vice trailer is scored to "The Man" by The Killers. First released as a single and later released on their 2017 album Wonderful, Wonderful, it sees Brandon Flowers explore the feeling of youth and ego; the lyrics are written from the point-of-view of a twenty-something who appears to have his life made, yet sung with a recollective understanding that it isn't the truth. Vice has repurposed the song, taking its baseline arrogant meaning and twisting the title to refer to "The Man" in the sense of big, all-controlling government, something Cheney would come to represent. It works shockingly well: the chorus, "I got gas in the tank, I got money in the bank, I got news for you baby, you're looking at the man" is a pretty apt summary of his attitude and time in office.
Using a song from The Killers, aside from being catchy, has another added connection to Vice. While the chosen track was released last year, the band rose to fame in the mid-2000s, at the height of the Bush/Cheney premiership. Their sound captures that era for many, and as "The Man" is something of a stylistic throwback to the band's earlier albums like Sam's Town, it fits perfectly.
Vice, which releases at Christmas, is sure to use more contemporary music to better evoke the 2000s period setting. The actors have gone to great lengths to look like their real-life counterparts (the trailer even states they "are" their characters), and it's only to be expected - like McKay's The Big Short before it - for some choice jukebox picks here. Whether any of The Killers appears in Vice itself remains to be seen, although "Mr. Brightside" could definitely be framed as a tale of Cheney stealing the country (and the failures of those who enabled him).
- Vice (2018) release date: Dec 25, 2018