Adam McKay’s “Vice” was originally being held up as a serious awards contender, but as critical reviews have now started coming out the reaction appears fairly divided on the project – some loving and some outright hating it and that reaction goes beyond a mere political divide.
At several points though the film dips into the outright absurd, the most visible being a pillow talk scene with Christian Bale and Amy Adams’ Cheneys talking and plotting in Shakespearean language akin to Macbeth. One big sequence though ended up being cut – a musical number.
Speaking with Variety, McKay says those involved tried their hardest to keep it in the film but sadly it didn’t make it:
“I couldn’t get that one to work. It was kind of when Rumsfeld is teaching Cheney about Washington D.C. and how to get ahead. It’s sort of like ‘neither a borrower nor a lender be,’ he’s kind of giving him that speech. But the speech is about, ‘Who cares about anything? You’ve got to just get ahead of people, making your moves.’ I think there was a line in it, ‘The means justify the ends,’ which I always loved.”
Oscar-nominated composer Nicholas Britell wrote the song and “Hamilton” choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler was involved in the sequence which was definitely shot and completed:
“It’s breathtaking. It’s incredible. And it just didn’t work. You didn’t need it. It was too long in that area of the movie. We tried 15 versions of it. We moved it here, we moved it there. We played it really short. We played it way longer and put scenes in the middle of it. We tried every single thing you could do. The only reason it doesn’t pain me at this moment is because I know we tried everything we could do. You’re in the editing room and you’re like, ‘This is amazing. This is going to work.’ And you just forget the movie tells you what it wants.”
The director adds that he hopes to put the deleted material on the DVD/Blu-ray release, along with scenes involving the young Cheneys which test audiences weren’t warming to.