First and foremost, the editing in the film is simply horrendous. I understand that McKay wanted to do this film in an unconventional style, which I normally would support given that the conventional tropes of the biopic genre have grown stale and old. However, the film's juxtaposition of quick cuts is too jarring for even the most seasoned viewers to keep straight. Sometimes the use of quick cuts is necessary (i.e. war footage,) but other times it is questionable (repeated analogous or symbolic references) or completely ridiculous. The film's perceived self-awareness is all over the place, trying to make itself seem more comedic and dumbed down at times, as if the viewer needed to be punished, and its often-bizarre narration is just silly. The acting tends to weirdly alternate between being overdone and undercooked--which is truly puzzling given the film's outstanding cast.
Also, McKay failed to understand this time how to deliver stark political commentary without seeming schlocky or over-the-top (a la Michael Moore and Oliver Stone.) Speaking of Moore and Stone, the film is essentially a love child of both of their filmographies--and that's not always a good thing. The reason is because the film seems to not always be concerned with proper presentation of facts. I'm a lifelong Democrat and no fan of Cheney myself, and while much of the film is likely accurate, some of it probably is not (which the film seems to inadvertently acknowledge as it commences) or presented misleadingly. The bizarre editing also causes grave damage to the possibility that more viewers will see the film as credible. And while the film will certainly infuriate liberals, it not only offers no commentary on solutions on how to best move on from Cheney's (and now Trump's) worldview--it explicitly feels solely like preaching to the choir from beginning to end. While McKay rightly criticizes Fox News in the film for its use of schlocky, highly biased and opinionated information, he fails to understand that sometimes his film feels like a liberal version of a Fox News broadcast rather than a more thorough and potent critique of Cheney. After the outstanding "The Big Short," I'm truly puzzled that this film turned out this bad. 3/10