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movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Bulworth

Starring: Warren Beatty, Halle Berry
Director: Warren Beatty
Rated: R
RunTime: 107 Minutes
Release Date: May 1998
Genre: Comedy

Review by David Wilcock
3 stars out of 4

Warren Beatty returns to the screens in the funniest, craziest and hard hitting movie in his career. Based on a story concocted by himself, and also written by Beatty, Bulworth gives a good insight of what Beatty thinks of the American government system. Beatty stars as Senator Jay Bulworth, who's going through a nervous breakdown. After hiring someone to kill him, he completely changes his campaign strategy and tells the honest truth about what's _really_ happening in American politics, much to the annoyance of assistant Dennis Murphy (Platt.) Instead of everyone hating him, the American public love him. However, inside his party, more people want to kill him than just the hired assassin. And he also strikes a relationship with black girl Nina (Berry.)

It's remarkable that this film was released at all. Much more open than the rather subdued Primary Colours, Bulworth barely gives the American politic system a good name. The outrageous remarks Bulworth makes to his potential voters are very funny, and also somewhat true. It's great that Beatty isn't afraid to let loose on a subject. Talking of Beatty, he's excellent in the role of the demented Senator, clearing having fun. And seeing Warren Beatty have fun is a rare sight indeed. Even in Dick Tracy, he was the most straighten face actor. (Then again, he was the only characters face we could completely see.) The film gives an opportunity for the 61 year old Beatty to indulge in some rapping, which he does with gusto (and also quite well.) And seeing Beatty as a 'homeboy' has to be seen to be believed. It's nice to see that Beatty can laugh at himself. Second best is Oliver Platt as the flustered, coke snorting assistant, who goes over the top when he finally snaps. Halle Berry is fine, and sexy, as the intellectual Nina, who comes to like the senator. Also popping up in the supporting cast is Paul Sorvino wit h a strange accent, Laurie Metcalf as the exact same characters she's also played, and Christine Baranski of Cybill fame as Bullworths wife, who all contribute to the fun. And, this being a political film, the ubiquitous Larry King makes an appearance, as, *shock*, himself.

The writing and directing, both by Beatty, are above par. The direction is very nearly sitcom like, but suits the film perfectly, and both the politics are gangland parts are handled well. The script is funny, and the raps are actually well produced and humorous, and quite clever. They're not cringe inducing, at least. The script makes many points about society in America today, and isn't afraid to make any bold statements about what is a flawed system. Best of all, the film is thought provoking, but directed and written in such a way that the film feels as light as a feather, and is very entertaining. There's also a great rap soundtrack with some well chosen tunes.

Bulworth is a film with many advantages, and few flaws. Perhaps it could be somewhat embarrassing to see a 61 year old man rapping, but Beatty does it so well it's irrelevant. In fact, there's very little against Bulworth, except for the language which is very heavy, but then again it should be expected. Bulworth, then, is well worth watching.

Copyright 1999 David Wilcock

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