A movie about unchecked avarice, a bottomless thirst for power, and utter self-interest, all wrapped in a gratingly abrasive package, Vice's ultimate lesson could be that evil does win. If you can't get enough of history served straight you're probably looking to watch Vice on Netflix, and horrify yourself with its humdrum trotting out of historical atrocities.
Following the career arc of eventual Vice President Dick Cheney (played by Christian Bale in heavy makeup), Vice shows the ambitious man rubbing elbows with Henry Kissinger and moving up the political ranks as he advances his selfish plans throughout recent history like some Boschian version of Forrest Gump. The most frightening part? How mundane it all is seen from Cheney's view.
As with several movies recently given the Oscars' sacrosanct nod of nomination (the film was nominated in eight separate categories), Vice has returned to theaters to further burnish its Serious nature, and is currently unavailable on any service to rent or stream. When it eventually does make its way to living rooms across the country, Netflix likely won't be the first place it lands.
Deadline reports that back in April 2017, Annapurna Pictures, who are distributing Vice, and Hulu made a multi-year exclusive streaming deal, the largest licensing agreement at the time for Hulu, and the first of its kind for Annapurna. All movies released by the company, including Vice, will appear first and only on Hulu. Eventually the film will likely make its way to other streaming services, but that will be months after it lands on Hulu, which itself will be at least later than February 2019.
In the meantime, if you're determined to stream something political by the director of Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, McKay's film The Big Short, about the unchecked greed of investors eventually leading to the subprime mortgage collapse, is available to rent through most online services right now. If it's specifically the later legacy of Cheney you're interested in, Oliver Stone's movie taking on the H.W. Bush administration, W., is also available to rent from most streaming services.
The truly frightening part of McKay's take on Dick Cheney is his insistence the Vice President didn't have any ideology motivating his decisions, no higher philosophy or hope. Speaking to The New Yorker McKay said, "What I kept seeing [with Cheney] was a power-for-the-sake-of-power approach. Even in Cheney’s talking about that time, where we went into Iraq, there’s no regret, there’s almost a feeling of, I got to make the decision, I’m the one who affected history."
But it's not all frowns and military moves — the film is peppered with moments of humor and focuses on the relationship between Cheney and his wife Lynne (played by Amy Adams). Talking to Slash Film McKay even said, "We tried a musical number as well, which was [Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld] explaining the power structure of D.C. and that one didn’t tonally work either. It was just too much in that section of the movie." The music, described by McKay to the outlet as an "R&B kind of just big power song" was written by Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes, and will be available on the film's Blu-Ray, available for pre-order now.