rated - STONE COLD
It is incredibly rare for me to say this about a film. Usually I can
see something in a film to make me recommend it. But this one was just
If your idea of a good movie is watching a pseudo-liberal philosopher
spout appalling rap lyrics, whilst cast opposite someone who looks
young enough to be his granddaughter, then you might enjoy Bulworth -
that is if you can stand seeing the few good jokes in the film done to
death by repetition. Is saying the unsayable over and over again still
saying the unsayable?
If that's not bad enough, Beatty has also misused the talents of film
greats: Vittorio Storaro for one. Storaro does manage to make his mark
on the film - especially in the "rave" scene in the South Central club,
when Beatty dances with Halle Berry. It is one of the few scenes where
Beatty doesn't look absolutely ridiculous. But Ennio Morricone seems
the wrong choice of composer for a film which has as its premise that
rap is the intellectual centre of black politics. Even the choice of
the rap music is difficult to appreciate - we have no context for it.
I think it is a poverty of ideas which is at the nub of the film's
problems. It is a simple-minded film indeed which, on the eve of the
year 2000, shows black kids spouting a sort of socio-economic cant
which, it is implied, will solve all the problems of American blacks.
The film then invites us to laugh at rich white people from Beverly
Hills who are being insulted (a soft target indeed). And it ends by
showing us a black gangland boss and drug dealer - who has been using
kids who are barely out of nappies as runners - setting up a
neighbourhood social help and education centre. Come on!
The film's not totally devoid of good things, however, The good things
include Halle Berry, who lights up every scene she appears in,
Storaro's photography, especially in the dance sequence, the first few
scenes with Bulworth in despair in his office, the outrageous insults
Bulworth flings at the blacks in church, and the George Hamilton jokes.
The bad things are too numerous to list. I'll just give you the 3
worst: Beatty trying to do this kind of comedy, Beatty trying to rap,
and the prospect of Beatty ending up with Halle Berry.